‘Concealing in simple view’_ Calif. martial arts teacher eliminated 2, polices state

A The golden state male has actually been “concealing in simple view” for years after completely raping as well as eliminating 2 more youthful women, the Ventura Region constable pointed out Thursday.

Tony Garcia, 68, was apprehended last week as well as billed with 2 matters of first-degree murder of the 1981 strangulation fatalities of Rachel Zendejas as well as Lisa Gondek. For years, private investigators struggled the circumstances separately: It wasn’t till 2004 that DNA evidence connected the women.

Zendejas passed away initially. The 20-year-old had not as well lengthy ago gone through a separation as well as was boosting her 2 more youthful little girls whereas participating in Oxnard Institution. Whereas she got once more on her toes, she was staying along with her bro in Camarillo. On Jan. 18, 1981, 2 paper supply young boys stumbled onto Zendejas’ bare body in an condominium made complex’s carport. Cops thought she had actually been “assailed” exterior her bro’s Camarillo home as well as was raped as well as suffocated on the patio area of a nearby uninhabited condo.

“She had actually pursued the evening as well as utilized a couple of sitters to sit along with her little girls,” Ventura Region Constable Jim Fryhoff pointed out at a press convention Thursday. “After coming back from an evening out, Rachel drove the sitters home as well as, largely based upon the evidence left on the scene, private investigators envision Rachel was confronted as she got of her vehicle after returning home.”

Eleven months later on, firemans replied to researches of smoke at an Oxnard condo. Inside, they uncovered the bare body of Gondek, 21, in her tub. Her awesome had actually raped her, positioned her after which establish the condo on fireplace. Next-door neighbors apparently listened to screams nevertheless didn’t call 911 till they scented smoke.

Gondek had actually gotten here in The golden state less than a year prior. When she’d jumped aboard a cross-country bus from Connecticut to Southern The Golden State, she’d made a guarantee to her member of the family. “Mom,” she pointed out, “I’ll be home for Xmas.”

She relocated with a youth best buddy as well as got a task at a teen garments store within the Esplanade acquiring heart in Oxnard. Though she was brand-new to the world, she swiftly made pals. “If Lisa had a dollar, she would certainly reduce up it with you,” her roomie advised the Ventura Region Celebrity in 2006.

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Twenty-three years later on, private investigators understood DNA uncovered on the Gondek as well as Zendejas criminal activity scenes was from the similar suspect. Another gorgeous link was after that made: Each women had actually mosted likely to a club referred to as Huntington’s within the hrs earlier than their fatalities. The subscription, currently shut, was a scorching area throughout from the Esplanade shopping mall.

Unfortunately for investigatives, the DNA evidence didn’t match anyone in across the country data sources. In 2019, they began collaborating with hereditary genealogists to see if they may find a suit that approach. The search through openly available DNA accounts, sent by people looking for to be shown added concerning their ancestral tree, introduced ideas major them to Garcia, Fryhoff pointed out.

According to the Ventura Region Constable’s Office, Garcia was functioning as a karate instructor on the moment of the murders. He was birthed in New Mexico as well as similarly offered within the Navy. Prison info existing he was functioning as a woodworker on the moment of his apprehension Tuesday. He has actually evidently been staying within the Oxnard area all this time around.

“This suspect has actually been concealing in simple view for over 40 years,” Fryoff pointed out.

Garcia is being hung on the Ventura Region principal prison till his succeeding court room appearance Feb. 23. Detectives remain in search of details from the public concerning Garcia, along with any kind of possible links to various criminal activities. Suggestions might be referred to as right into the Ventura Region Key Crimes Device at 805-383-8704 or emailed to coldcase@ventura.org.

“I live for this,” Zendejas’ bro Roy Rodriguez pointed out Saturday. “It’s my feature to obtain this aspect addressed for Rachel.”

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