Man Posts Snapchat Photo Of Murdered Victim Saying “I don’t know what to do”
A 21-year-old New Jersey man allegedly choked a 19-year-old to death during sex, took a photo of her naked body and shared it on Snapchat, according to authorities. A probable cause affidavit filed by police said that Michael T. Gaffney told officers he knew the victim, Francis Victoria Garcia through mutual friends.
After strangling her during sex in his car, Gaffney took a photo before alerting their friends she was unconscious. A friend arrived to see Garcia’s lips were purple, although she was still breathing through her nose. After seeking help Garcia was declared dead at Hackensack University Medical Center.
Gaffney is charged with reckless manslaughter.
According to the affidavit, Gaffney and Garcia began talking on social media a week before they met up with friends.
“Gaffney and Garcia made plans to hang out with those friends as a group on the evening of [Nov.1],” the affidavit states. “At some point during the evening, Gaffney and Garcia went to her car to hang out. There, the two engaged in sexual intercourse for approximately 20 minutes. At some point, Gaffney placed his hands around Garcia’s neck. She subsequently lost consciousness.”
After Garcia lost consciousness, Gaffney took a photo of her body. He posted the image on Snap Chat with the caption, “Just f***ed this b***h. I don’t know what to do.”
When he finished using social media, he called his friends who were hanging out at a nearby apartment to tell them she stopped breathing. The friend who arrived said he “could feel air coming out of her nose,” but her lips were purple.
A coroner found Garcia may have died of asphyxiation.
Although a medical examiner found Garcia had a blood-alcohol level of .256, it is believed it was asphyxiation that killed her. The Bergen County Medical Examiner’s Office found “compression injuries” on her neck, likely ruling out a drug overdose as the cause, according to the Daily Voice. However, a full autopsy has not yet been completed.
“I do find it curious that when a woman’s body goes lifeless or still, he takes a naked picture and posts it to 30 people,” Superior Court Judge Margaret Foti said, refusing to release Gaffney on bond because of the callous nature of his actions.
However, Gaffney maintains that what happened was essentially an accident.
“The 5-foot-8-inch, 180-pound Gaffney, who has a history of alcohol and drug use, told detectives that they’d taken prescription medication and were having rough sex in her car when she lost consciousness, a law enforcement source said,” according to the Daily Voice.
Gaffney’s attorney, Adam Lustberg told People, we should reserve our judgment until the trial runs its course.
“I just ask everyone to withhold judgment until all of the facts and evidence come in to allow us to try this case in the court of law instead of the court of public opinion,” Lustberg said.
The lawyer also remained skeptical until a full autopsy is completed dismissing the asphyxiation presumption as mere paperwork, “there is a death certificate abstract which just lists the cause of death,” he said.
Garcia’s family speaks out about her death in GoFundMe.
The relatives of Garcia have raised $1,400 of their $10,000 goal on GoFundMe to raise funds for her funeral arrangements.
“On Saturday November 2nd, 2019 my mother received the news that every parent fears. My 19-year-old sister had been found dead inside her vehicle while she was attending a party. My sister’s life was suddenly shortened by a coward leaving us with a deep sorrow,” Luis Banegas, her brother said on the GoFundMe page. “Her death is still under investigation and the person responsible for her death has been arrested. We ask that you please help our family gather enough funds to give my sister Francis Veronica Garcia a proper burial.”
Gaffney’s family attempted to start their own GoFundMe to raise funds for his legal fees, however shortly after, the account was shut down by the company.
“I can confirm that we removed the campaign and all donors have been fully refunded because it violated our terms and conditions. It’s also important to know that the platform is backed by the GoFundMe Guarantee, which means funds are guaranteed to go to the right place or donors will get a refund,” a spokesperson for GoFundMe told TooFab.
Within a few days, despite not making their goal, Banegas announced they were able to give Garcia a proper burial due to support from others.
“We were able to give my sister a funeral that she would’ve loved. My mother was joyful to see all the people that came to support her and came to pay their goodbyes. Again, thank you for all the donations. I will be stopping the fundraiser now because with all your help and the help from family and friends we’ve achieved our goal,” he wrote.