Felicia Garcia, the 15-year-old who threw herself in front of an oncoming train on Wednesday, did not have an easy life. Still, friends described the orphan who'd had finally found a seemingly good foster situation as someone always quick with a smile. What appears to have pushed her over the edge was a recent incident, possibly filmed, involving multiple members of the Tottenville varsity football team. "This poor girl was called a slut. She was teased on Facebook," a classmate told the Post.
"Kids are saying she had sex with some guys from the football team at a party after the game," a student told the News. "Later on they wouldn't leave her alone about it. They just kept bullying her and bullying her."
The school's principal has not returned our messages regarding the death, but he did tell CBS that “Right now, we have a grieving school community and that’s our priority. Students witnessed this, we had a number of staff members at the train station who witnessed this, so this is a school tragedy.”
According to reports, yesterday while many students were grieving, police detectives were interviewing the high school's varsity football team "to investigate claims that the girl was being bullied about an encounter she purportedly had with several players at one team member’s home after Saturday’s game against Port Richmond."
Adding to that angle, it appears that Garcia had spent much of Wednesday in school counseling regarding the issue, and at least one source says she had requested a transfer. Whatever happened last weekend, it was not the first time Garcia's life had been troubled:
There was already little that was easy in Felicia’s life. Friends described her childhood as a patchwork of loss and instability: both her parents died when she was young, and she disliked living with her aunt, said Kaitlyn Antonmarchi, 15, who said she had been Felicia’s best friend since eighth grade. At one point, Felicia ran away from her aunt’s house with an older man. After she entered the foster system, she bounced in and out of different homes, dyed her dark hair red and sprouted a cluster of piercings.
With her latest foster parents, Felicia finally seemed happy and stable, Kaitlyn said. Moving to the other side of Staten Island, she started high school at Tottenville, improved her grades, let the dye wash out and eliminated most piercings. At Friday’s football game, Kaitlyn said: “She looked happy. She was laughing. It didn’t look like anything was upsetting her at all.”
Because of the circumstances law enforcement officials are cautioning against saying Garcia was "bullied to death." Still, the Tottenville football team has reportedly taken to Twitter to defend themselves telling people "don’t believe everything you hear." In any event, the football teams game tonight against Curtis High School has been postponed until Sunday at 5 p.m.
Meanwhile, it is still worth noting: If someone you know exhibits warning signs of suicide: do not leave the person alone, remove any firearms, alcohol, drugs or sharp objects that could be used in a suicide attempt, and call the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) or take the person to an emergency room or seek help from a medical or mental health professional.