Arrest in decades-old murder case | January 11, 2013 | Mountain View Voice | Mountain View Online |

Mountain View Voice

News - January 11, 2013

Arrest in decades-old murder case

by Nick Veronin

After 28 years, justice may finally be levied against the killer of Saba Girmai, a Santa Clara County woman who was found strangled to death in in a Mountain View dumpster in 1985, according to the Mountain View Police Department and the county district attorney.

Investigators used the state's DNA database to link 53-year-old Daniel Garcia of Fresno to the murder of Girmai. She was 21 years old when a passerby discovered her body on Jan. 18, 1985, in a dumpster behind the Bailey Park Plaza shopping center at 570 N. Shoreline Blvd., a police press release said.

The case, which remained cold for more than two decades, regained momentum when the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Crime Laboratory developed a DNA profile from evidence from Girmai's fingernails, the release said. That profile was matched with Garcia, a convict who had not previously been linked to Girmai.

In 2011, investigators from the D.A.'s office and Mountain View police began seriously looking into the case. Working with the Fresno County Probation Department, investigators called Garcia in for extensive interviews, which led to his arrest.

Garcia was arrested and charged with murder on Jan. 4 and is being held without bail, the release said. He was arraigned on Jan. 7 and is scheduled to enter a plea on Feb. 5 at 9 a.m. in Department 84, Santa Clara County Deputy District Attorney Ted Kajani said.

Mountain View police Chief Scott Vermeer said he hopes the efforts of investigators might help bring closure to Girmai's family. "We never forget about unsolved murder cases and continuously seek out new technology and new leads to help us solve them," the chief said.

—Bay City News contributed to this report


Posted by Steve, a resident of Jackson Park
on Jan 10, 2013 at 5:52 pm

Great news to hear. My younger brother was an employee of that Safeway when she was discovered in the garbage bin. I thought he said a fellow employee had discovered her, but perhaps time has blurred that detail for me. His description of what he saw gave me chills.

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