May 20th, 2024

City man reminds residents to be vigilant after finding body in yard

By Al Beeber - Lethbridge Herald on December 7, 2021.


George Garcia doesn’t want anyone to experience what he did in his yard recently as he took a walk to a nearby store.
Garcia, who lives in the northside neighborhood of Westminster, came across a dead man when he noticed the door of the tent trailer he had parked in his driveway ajar.
He looked inside and saw a prone person. He poked and prodded, trying to rouse the man but to no avail. It was then he realized the man was dead.
Garcia, who has lived in cities such as Chilliwack, B.C. and Brandon, Man. has never lived in an area like current neighbourhood before where he’s endured break-ins and people regularly going through his yard.
And he’s urging residents to check their properties regularly.
For Garcia, the discovery was one he never thought he’d have and doesn’t want to have again.
“My son and I were trying to renovate it,” he said of the trailer, so they could use it again next year.
“I walked past it and noticed the door was open and found a guy in there. I gave him a couple of pokes, yelled and stomped my feet trying to wake him up. He wouldn’t wake up so I went into the trailer and gave him a poke with my finger and it was like pretty hard to poke. I grabbed his leg and he didn’t move and I thought ‘OK, you’re obviously dead,” he said.
“Over the last couple years, I’ve found people sleeping in my backyard in the corner by the fence where the wind is blocked or right in my driveway where the wind is blocked,” Garcia said.
He and his wife of 33 years moved to Lethbridge on Feb. 1, 2016 and when they first moved to the neighbourhood “our yard was like a path for people. They’d come off the street and go through our yard to get to the alley. It was a straight stretch, you know, we had no fence.
“I found a lot of people trespassing through my yard all the time and we had to kick people out of my yard and my driveway who were sleeping,” he said.
Finding the body was a shock, he said.
“I’ve never found a dead person in my life. I was in the army, we had some action…but I’ve never found one accidentally,” Garcia said.
“If there’s a place to be sheltered, somebody’s going to use it.”
He and his wife lived in Shaughnessy for 15 years before coming to Lethbridge and felt completely safe there.
“I never locked my door, I never had to worry about anything. I never had a thing stolen from my yard or stolen from my house. I never had anybody walk in my yard or come and die in my yard. Fifteen years, I walked all the time. I could walk around at 3 o’clock in the morning and feel safe. Then I move and here and oh, man, it’s a totally different area,” said Garcia.
“I like my house but I just don’t like the neighbourhood.” In Chilliwack, he never noticed problems there like Lethbridge to the same degree.
Garcia said his house has been broken into three times since moving to Lethbridge and he’s become more vigilant, walking around his yard late at night every night with a flashlight.
“I’ve had too many break-ins already,” said Garcia, who has lost property including $5,000 mountain bikes.

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Right, well if this is a case of the apple not falling very far from the tree,the police will figure it out.
Regardless, it is well past the time that drug house occupants and drug dealers were held to criminal charges over these events.