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  • Writer's pictureDennis McCaslin

Alex Suarez arrested on Johnson County bench warrant for possession of drug paraphernalia

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Johnson County resident Alexandra Suarez was picked up Tuesday on a bench warrant for a Possession of Drug Paraphernalia warrant.

The bench warrant was issued eight days after an accident that took the life of five-year-old Josiah Garcia in which Suarez was one of drivers of the two vehicles involved.

Despite information from a Russellville Police Department report saying Suarez would be charged with manslaughter, endangering the welfare of a minor, battery in the first degree and DWI, no arrest has been made and no information indicating a warrant has even been issued involving the accident has been posted to Arkansas Court Connection to date.

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Suarez was already out on bail from a previous drug arrest at the time of the accident.

A source said they were told today by a family member of Josiah Garcia that it may be several more days before any legal action tied to the accident is taken.

Information from the original police report indicates blood samples were drawn at St. Mary's Hospital in Russellville on May 24 from two individuals associated with the accident.

The driver of the second car in the accident gave consent to have the sample taken according to the police report. The same report says the sample from Suarez had to be obtained through a warrant because she was incoherent and could not consent to the sample request.

Those samples were reportedly sent to the Arkansas Crime Lab in Little Rock the Friday after the accident.

Police were told by Mikayla Ragsdale, the mother of Josiah Garcia. that she was aware that Suarez had taken "half a klonopin pill" at 7AM the morning of the accident, which occurred less than four- and- a half hours later that day.

When police returned to the hospital the following morning to interview Suarez, they were told she had checked herself out of the facility against doctors orders at around 5 p.m. on May 24.

Ragsdale and the mother of a second child injured in the accident were inside a blood plasma center selling plasma when Suarez, who was reportedly supposed to wait in the car with the two children, drove the Dodge from the scene and collided with the second vehicle on a bridge on US Highway 64 in Russellville.

Suarez had been rejected as a plasma donor before returning to the vehicle.

Ragsdale also told police Suarez was "going to take the kids to the park to play" although the mother of the second child injured in the wreck, Larissa Bennett told Today in Fort Smith she was under the impression that the vehicle was to remain in the parking lot. Bennett also said after donating plasma that Suarez appeared to be "out of it".

TIFS has obtained a copy of text message between Ragsdale and Bennett from the day of the accident reportedly exchanged while they were in the blood plasma center. In that exchange, Bennett replied to a "WTF" text from Ragsdale following a question about the status of the children to which Bennett replied "Yea..she has our kids..and she may have seemed a touch f***** up so I'm going to worry".

When the women exited the blood plasma center and saw Suarez was gone they started walking and arrived at the scene of the accident after the children had already been transported to the hospital.

Family members and other sources have expressed confusion about the incidents following the accident and as to why Suarez has not been taken into custody.

The report that was furnished to Today in Fort Smith indicates the investigation started on May 24, the day of the accident, with both the narrative and the "chain of command" notations seemingly stemming from that date. However, the copy of the report we obtained was printed for a family member on June 1, seven days after the accident.

It is not plain when the notations indicating felony charges would be filed against Suarez were added to the report or if the police received the toxicology results back from the state crime lab prior to June 1 or if other factors were considered in listing the charges.

Information obtained from a booking at the Johnson County Sheriff's Office indicates Suarez was arrested on May 22, two days before the fatal Russellville accident, for Failure to maintain Control and DWI in a one-vehicle accident that day. However, none of those charges have been posted to Arkansas Court Connect a full sixteen days after that incident.

Records indicated an arrest warrant that was issued April 12 for Suarez was served on May 27, but an examination of Johnson County booking information does not show an arrest or posted mugshot from that day. That warrant was for felony counts of Possession of a Controlled Substance and Paraphernalia and misdemeanor Possession of Marijuana.

Suarez has a past felony conviction f0r Breaking and Entering and Fraudulent use of a Credit Card from a 2016 arrest and plea deal that resulted in a 36-month prison sentence.

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