Garcia is from San Francisco, San Francisco County, California. A drunk driver killed her parents in a car accident when she was eighteen, and she now helps counsel the families of murder victims in her spare time. Garcia has stated that after her parents died, she dropped out of Caltech and went "underground" but continued to teach herself computer coding. She had been placed on one of the FBI's hacker lists (she was one of a small handful of extremely useful or dangerous hackers in the world), and they recruited her from there. It has also been mentioned, when she was not allowed to travel with the team to Langley, that she was on the CIA's "lists" as well. JJ joked that Garcia belonged to that list when she (unsuccessfully) tried to hack the CIA for information (namely, Prince William's cellphone number) and information on Diana, Princess of Wales' death and other government conspiracies.