Voices, flashlight draw witness's attention after deadly leaf-pile accident

A recently released court document provides more details about the teens involved in the accident that killed two Forest Grove sisters — and on the citizen who tipped off police.

An Oct. 24 "affidavit for search warrant," made public Nov. 1 in Washington County Circuit Court, features a narrative by Forest Grove Police Det. Matt Smith, the lead investigator into the incident for the Washington County Major Crimes Team.

Smith notes that he did a preliminary search when he arrived at the accident scene and “did not locate any acceleration or deceleration marks on the roadway,” which indicated the driver of the car that hit the girls neither slowed nor stopped nor sped up, either before or after the accident.

The document states that at 10 a.m. Monday, Oct. 21, Smith and another detective spoke with a neighbor of Cinthya Garcia-Cisneros, the girl who appeared to have been driving the car that struck the girls in Forest Grove.

The man said he had called police because he had seen news stories about children who had been hurt and wanted to report what he witnessed the night before, Smith wrote.

He said that he was in his garage when he heard some people talking outside. When he peeked out, he saw a man walking around a vehicle with a flashlight, apparently inspecting the vehicle.

"I asked (the man) to describe the vehicle in question and he told me that it was a grey SUV," Smith wrote. "I asked...if he saw a license plate on the vehicle and he told me that he did… I asked...if he remembered anything about the people he saw and he told me that the woman appeared to be 18 to 20 years old and was crying."

The man also said "the female was talking to the male with the flashlight and the male with the flashlight was inspecting the tires of the vehicle. (The man) said he clearly overheard the female ask the male, 'Is there any blood?'

“I asked...if he knew the ethnicity of the people … he thought they were light-skinned but could also be Hispanic … I asked...if he has seen the vehicle before and he told me that he has seen the same vehicle parked (at that address) 3 to 4 times since he moved into the residence."

Smith got tenant information for the address from the property manager and learned that Mario Garcia-Cruz lived there with his children,Cinthya and Mario Garcia-Cisneros.

“I then interviewed Mario Garcia-Cruz at his place of employment and learned that Cinthya Garcia-Cisneros’ boyfriend is Mario Echeverria…and that he often drives a grey-colored sport utility vehicle similar to a Nissan Pathfinder,” Smith wrote. “On Oct. 21, 2013, at approximately (1 p.m.), I contacted Mario Echeverria and Cinthya Garcia-Cisneros at 1292 S. Ivy St. in Cornelius …

“Mario Echeverria initially told me that he was the only person driving his vehicle on Oct. 20, 2013. Mario Echeverria, after being questioned for several more minutes, admitted that Cinthya Garcia-Cisneros had been driving the vehicle on Oct. 20, 2013, and had driven on Main Street. Mario Echeverria further told me that Cinthya Garcia-Cisneros drove through a pile of leaves on the side of Main Street and when she did so they heard a ‘thud’ type sound.

“Mario Echeverria said that he and Cinthya Garcia-Cisneros learned that Cinthia Garcia-Cisneros had struck two children about fifteen minutes later when Cinthya Garcia-Cisneros’ brother told her that he had been up to the scene of the crash and learned what happened.

“I then spoke with Cinthya Garcia-Cisneros and she initially denied being involved in a motor vehicle crash. However after interviewing Cinthya Garcia-Cisneros for several more minutes, she admitted that she had been driving the vehicle, did drive over a pile of leaves and heard a bump-type sound. Cinthya Garcia-Cisneros further admitted that she later learned from her brother, Mario Garcia-Cisneros, that she had struck a child and did not contact the police because she was fearful.

"I later spoke with Mario Echeverria again and learned that he had personally taken the vehicle to Kaady Car Wash in Hillsboro, Oregon, on Oct. 21, 2013, and cleaned the vehicle because he was afraid that Cinthya Garcia-Cisneros was going to get into trouble."

When another detective examined the vehicle, Smith wrote, "he located what appeared to be a green fiber that was consistent with coming from clothing. (The detective) later told me that he had a conversation with Thomas Robinson, Abigail Robinson’s father, on the night of the motor vehicle crash at Emanuel Hospital and learned that Abigail had been wearing a green sweatshirt when she had been struck by the vehicle.”

Smith reports that neither Cinthya nor Mario Garcia-Cisneros has any criminal history, and that Mario Echeverria has one arrest as a juvenile for Sodomy I, which was handled through the juvenile justice system.

Cinthya Garcia-Cisneros has been charged with two counts of “Failure to perform the duties of a driver." Mario Echeverria has been charged with “Tampering with evidence” and “Hindering prosecution.”

The Nissan Pathfinder which allegedly struck the girls is stored in the Property and Evidence Division of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.

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