Ex-Boyfriend Suspected in Slaying of Woman Whose Little Sister Died in Crash Days Earlier

A California man is wanted in the death of Karen Garcia, who was reported missing two days after her younger sister was killed in a car crash.

Colusa Police Chief Josh Fitch said 22-year-old Salvador Garcia, Karen's ex-boyfriend and the father of her two-year-old daughter, is wanted for homicide, reports PEOPLE.

Karen was reported missing on Jan. 9. According to KCRA, the 21-year-old was last seen at 11:30 a.m. the previous day. She told a friend she was going shopping to clear her head after her sister's death. She failed to show up for her sister's vigil that night and her family reported her missing.

Then on Jan. 14, someone told police they saw a body inside a parked car outside a Marshalls store in Woodland. Detectives confirmed that the body inside was Karen. They also found evidence to suggest that Karen was killed in a homicide.

Fitch told the Sacramento Bee that Salvador was not home when they went to the apartment the former couple once shared. Police found blood in the apartment and more in his car, which they found on Jan. 14. Police are waiting on results from DNA tests of the blood.

Linda Quintero, Karen's friend and neighbor, told the Bee that Karen told her where she was going in a text. However, when she returned to the apartment, Quintero noticed that Karen left behind her purse, with her driver's license, cash and an ATM card.

Fitch told the Bee Karen started dating another man, and Salvador was jealous. "He wanted her back and that wasn't happening," Fitch said.

However, the two tried to stay friends for their daughter, Avianna. Salvador, who previously spoke to the Bee on Jan. 11, called Karen "the sweetest person you'll ever meet."

On Friday, police said Salvador might be driving a stolen black 2011 Toyota Sienna van with a California license plate number 6NYB823. According to the Bee, the van was reported stolen to the Williams Police Department.

Karen's sister, 19-year-old Jessica Garcia, was killed by a wrong-way driver on I-5 on Jan. 7. Jessica was in a car with newlyweds Christian and Raquel Lopez, Christian's sister Yaneth Lopez and Jessica's boyfriend, Kristian Paiz. All five passengers were killed.


Anyone with information is asked to call Colusa Police Chief Joshua Fitch at 530-458-7777.

Photo credit: Facebook/ Colusa Police Department