CUDAHY – Authorities have determined the cause of death of the former mayor of Cudahy who was found dead Wednesday in his home, as first reported by the Los Cerritos News.
Chris Garcia, 37, was found unresponsive in his home.
The Los Angeles County Medical-Examiner’s office has determined his cause of death was self-inflicted due to hanging.
A GoFundMe account has been established to support his mother, according to the organizer Cynthia Mosqueda. The account has raised over $21,000 to date.
“Yesterday the unimaginable occurred, my partner and best friend Chris Garcia passed away. Chris was a beloved son, brother, and friend to so many in the community. In his short life, he became an elected official in his city, expanded the UCLA SouthEast Bruin Network, and founded his own company, Campaign Rep. Chris was the sole provider for his mother, Olivia Velasquez, and she is beyond heartbroken by her son’s death. I am starting a Go Fund me page to make sure that his mother is taken care of because I know this is what Chris would have wanted. We appreciate any donations that can be made in his name and all proceeds will go directly to his mother. I ask for your prayers during this difficult time in our lives.”
Garcia was first elected to the city council in 2013. He also waged a campaign for Senate in 2019 that was unsuccessful.
Garcia faced some community backlash for his support of KIPP charter schools in 2019.
The Cudahy Alliance for Justice successfully stopped the schools plans to build a school at 7801 Otis Avenue after filing a lawsuit alleging the site contained hazardous waste.
The project was presented to the council as ministerial, which would have allowed KIPP to skirt environmental laws to build the school.
According to Capital & Main, KIPP would “not legally obligated to make any effort to further study, remove or remediate the toxic hazards on the potential school site” and would proceed with little or no oversight from the state.
The Cudahy Planning Commission rejected the project but the council overrode them and approved it 4-1. The lone dissenting vote was then-mayor Elizabeth Alcantar.
At the time, the council members who voted to approve and the city attorney who is under contract with Cudahy, Victor Ponto from the Olivarez Madruga Lemieux O’Neill refused to comment on the outcome.
The law firm has contributed $1,000 to the GoFundMe.
Garcia also faced allegations that he did not live in Cudahy.
The coroner’s office confirmed his body was found in the 200 block of South Juanita Avenue in Los Angeles.
Emilie St. John is a contributing writer for 2UrbanGirls.com and the Los Angeles Wave newspaper
“The Los Angeles County Medical-Examiner’s office has determined his cause of death was self-inflicted due to hanging.”
Was there an autopsy?
We have requested it.