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Trump speech angers family of woman found dead on highway

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The sister of murder victim Ruby Garcia said she and her family were home watching live in disbelief as former President Donald Trump told a Michigan audience that he had spoken with “some of her family.”

“He did not speak with any of us, so it was kind of shocking seeing that he had said that he had spoke with us, and misinforming people on live TV,” Ruby Garcia’s sister, Mavi Garcia, told Nexstar’s WOOD.

Mavi Garcia, the family spokesperson, said neither Trump nor anybody from his campaign has contacted her or anybody in her immediate family. She said her family is close and she would know if that had happened.

“It was shocking. I kind of stopped watching it. I’d only seen up to that. After I heard a couple of misinformations he said, I just stopped watching it,” Mavi Garcia said.

Trump spent some of his speech Tuesday focusing on immigration, turning to the March 22 murder of 25-year-old Ruby Garcia. Court records show Brandon Ortiz-Vite, who was in the U.S. illegally, has confessed to killing her and dumping her along US-131 in Grand Rapids.

While police say the two were a couple, Ruby Garcia’s sister said the two were friends and that the relationship hadn’t gotten that far.

She said she knew that Ortiz-Vite was in the U.S. illegally but didn’t know the details.

“I wish he would have stayed in Mexico,” Mavi Garcia said.

She spoke with the media days after her sister’s shooting, but the family asked for privacy after that, including on the day of the funeral. But she responded immediately to a text from WOOD after Trump’s speech in Grand Rapids on Tuesday.

She said she’s angry that Trump and others have turned her sister’s death into something political.

“It’s always been about illegal immigrants,” Garcia said. “Nobody really speaks about when Americans do heinous crimes, and it’s kind of shocking why he would just bring up illegals. What about Americans who do heinous crimes like that?”

“The focus should be on my sister right now — who she was in life. I want people to remember who she was in life,” she continued.

“She was a very happy person, a very generous person,” she said of her sister. “She was always so happy. Could light up a room.”

Ortiz-Vite is facing five charges, including felony murder and carjacking. He’s expected back in Grand Rapids District Court on April 9.

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