COLUSA COUNTY (CBS13) — Over a year and a half after Colusa resident Karen Garcia went missing and her lifeless body was found in a Woodland parking lot, chief suspect and ex-boyfriend Salvador Garcia Jr. was found in Mexico and taken into custody by U.S. Marshals, according to the Colusa Police Department.
Salvador was located in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico. On Sunday, the U.S. Marshals Service turned custody of Salvador over to the Colusa County Task Force and he was booked into the Colusa County Jail.
Former co-workers of Karen spoke with CBS after the recent developments.
“It was just overwhelming for a second, and then we all just started feeling total joy,” Daniel Jenkins, a former coworker of Karen Garcia, said. “I mean it seems, you know, [like] karma coming back to him.”
Karen went missing in early January of 2018 — two days after her sister was killed in a wrong way-crash. As the community searched, Salvador gave an emotional interview to CBS13.
On January 14, 2018, Karen’s body was found inside her car in a parking lot in Woodland. Police found evidence of a murder, but who they couldn’t find was Salvador.
Police then officially named him as a suspect and began searching for a stolen Toyota van they suspected he was driving. For nine months, there was no sign of Salvador until police in Williams confirmed the van was recovered in Mexico.
Salvador Garcia was the main suspect in the homicide case, according to authorities.
“It makes it difficult how he handled it; being on the run for a year and a half,” Angela Castanon, another former worker of Karen Garcia, said. “We’re all very angry. He took a beautiful person away from us and his daughter.”
Castanon told CBS13 that this joyous day does come with a whirlwind of emotions.
“I’m happy. At the same time, it’s just taking me back to the day she was missing you know? We’re just always thinking about it,” Castanon said.
Jenkins said he’s glad the family is somewhat at peace after the arrest.
“All the sorrow and all the sad times, hopefully, this will be somewhat of a relief for you,” Jenkins said regarding Karen’s family. “Something of justice for the whole family.”
Karen Garcia’s family spoke with missing person advocate Holly Woods Sunday morning after Salvador was captured.
“I just want to say ‘Thank you, everyone’ for your support and your prayers! Thank you, God, U.S. Marshals, Colusa County Police Department, and the multitude of other law enforcement agencies: In Pursuit with John Walsh, Local News, Grazellas, Holly Woods and All the community, Thank you, from the deepest of my heart. We would also like to ask respectfully for our family and Karen with space for grieving and time as we await justice during this difficult time.
From Ana and Family, we did it!”