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Man charged in death of 19-year-old whose body was found in NJ parking garage

Posted at 2:26 PM, Nov 02, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-02 19:37:50-04

HACKENSACK, N.J. — A man has been arrested on manslaughter charges in the death of a woman, 19, whose body was found in a car parked in a Hackensack parking garage, Bergen County Prosecutor Mark Musella announced Saturday.

Michael Gaffney is charged with reckless manslaughter in the death of Francis Garcia (Photo: Bergen County Prosecutor's Office).

New Jersey authorities said they were investigating the “suspicious death” of  woman the woman after police were called to a parking garage near an apartment building complex along Prospect Avenue and Beech Street just after 2 a.m. Saturday.

When they arrived, officers found the body of Francis Victoria Garcia, 19,  inside a parked car in the parking garage, according to Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office.

An autopsy determined Garcia died of compression injuries to her neck, the prosecutor's office said.

Michael Gaffney, 21, was charged with reckless manslaughter in Garcia's death, according to the prosecutor.

Video, obtained by PIX11 showed the vehicle where Garcia's body was found being towed away.

“I don’t think it’s the norm for around here. I don’t know the details,” said Elaine Ferreira, who just moved into the building this week.

"The building was very professional. When I came out, they said 'nothing to worry about everything is ok.'”

The Daily Voice reported Saturday that Gaffney told detectives he and Garcia were having "rough sex" in her car when she lost consciousness. The report claims Garcia's injuries were consistent with Gaffney's claims, and that the two had been at the same party in the high-rise apartment building.

A long-time resident said she saw a large law enforcement response earlier in the day.

“It was kind of scary coming out and finding all the police cars, and when I returned three hours later, they were still, here so I was afraid to go in,” said Peggy Goulet.