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Teaneck Daily Voice serves Teaneck, NJ

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  • Fort Lee
    serves Fort Lee, Leonia & Palisades Park
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'Coward': Family Of Woman, 19, Killed In Car In Hackensack Speaks Out

Francis Veronica Garcia, 19, of Bloomingdale, died Nov. 2.
Francis Veronica Garcia, 19, of Bloomingdale, died Nov. 2. Photo Credit: GOFUNDME Luis Banegas

The family of a 19-year-old Bloomingdale woman coming to terms with her sudden death was also trying to come up with money for her funeral.

More than $1,200 had been raised as of Nov. 15 on a GoFundMe launched by relatives of Francis Veronica Garcia.

"My sister's life was suddenly shortened by a coward leaving us with a deep sorrow," page founder Luis Banegas said, who put funds toward his sister's funeral.

Michael Gaffney, 21, of Maywood, was arrested and charged with reckless manslaughter following an autopsy on Garcia, who'd been with him at a party in a Hackensack high-rise apartment on Prospect Avenue.

Michael Gaffney, 21 of Maywood, apparently took a Snapchat photo of an unconscious Francis Garcia in the back of the car before getting help. Garcia later died, and Gaffney was charged in her choking death.

It came to light at Gaffney's hearing Nov. 13 that he sent a Snapchat of an unconscious Garcia with the caption, "just f***ed this b***h. I don't know what to do," before seeking help from friends.

Shortly after, Garcia was pronounced dead.

"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," State Superior Court Judge Margaret Foti said at Gaffney's hearing Wednesday.

Gaffney's attorney Adam Lustberg at the hearing cited a lack of prior arrests and brought a letter from Gaffney's father vowing to keep his son home under supervision, reports.

The lawyer also said Gaffney could have regular drug and alcohol testing done throughout the case while on release.

Gaffney remains in the Bergen County Jail.

Click here to donate to Garcia's family.

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