Lauro Garcia Murder: Where Are Carlos Cruz and Linda Garcia Now?

Lauro Garcia, a highly regarded figure in his community, was a devoted father who had worked hard to ensure the well-being of his children and provide for his family. Having built his life from humble beginnings, the shocking discovery of his brutal murder in his own home deeply affected everyone. However, the truth about Linda Garcia is revealed by her brother, Martin Garcia, and the police soon find out about her involvement in the crime along with her boyfriend Carlos Cruz in ‘Vengeance: Killer Families: Gang Ties & Family Lies.’

How Did Lauro Garcia Die?

On December 23, 2004, around 4:30 p.m., Lauro Garcia’s nephew, Luis Velasquez, contacted the police to report that his uncle had not reported to work. Expressing concern, Luis mentioned that Lauro, known for his strong work ethic, would typically communicate if he was unable to attend work, especially considering they both worked as custodians for a business in Tucson. In response to the report, the police conducted a welfare check at Lauro’s residence on South Santa Clara Avenue in Tucson.

Upon entering the residence, the police were confronted with a grisly scene – blood was pervasive throughout the house, covering the floor to the ceiling. The lifeless body of 55-year-old Lauro was discovered behind the couch, concealed under blankets. The condition of his body indicated not only severe beatings but also stab wounds. Paramedics were summoned to the scene, but it was determined that rigor mortis had set in several hours before the police arrival, indicating Lauro had been deceased for approximately 10-12 hours.

Who Killed Lauro Garica?

The police initiated their investigation under the assumption of a burglary, yet the viciousness of the attack on Lauro Garcia suggested a more personal motive, possibly an expression of pent-up anger. Eliminating his nephew Luis Velasquez and his son Martin Garcia as suspects, the police turned their attention to Lauro’s daughter, Linda Garcia, who was conspicuously absent. Martin informed the police that Linda had affiliations with a gang, raising concerns that her involvement might have led to this crime, putting her safety at risk as well.

Lauro, who had immigrated from Mexico in his early 20s, formed a family with a woman named Maria in Pasadena, California. The couple had two children, Martin in 1980 and Linda in 1983. Although Lauro and Maria did not marry and eventually separated, Lauro relocated to Tucson, where he met another woman and became a stepfather to her children. While Martin and Maria briefly stayed with him, Linda’s behavior became challenging, prompting Maria to call her back to California. Linda, during her time in California, became involved with a gang and dropped out of junior year in high school. Concerned for her daughter’s well-being, Maria sent Linda to live with her father in Tucson in 2001.

By 2004, Linda was 20 years old, and she had connected with a 16-year-old boy named Carlos Cruz online. Carlos lived in Casa Grande, near Tucson. Lauro did not approve of this relationship as Carlos was also a gang member, leading to frequent disagreements between father and daughter. The only clue the police had found about Linda was Lauro’s car which was found in Eloy and it had been torched. In the car, the police found a knife that was a part of the set in Lauro’s home and was missing. However, on December 28, Linda responded to numerous voicemails and texts from her brother, informing him that she was in Texas. When informed of her father’s passing, she displayed minimal emotion. Linda also contacted the police, stating that she had left for Texas on December 21 and arrived at her boyfriend’s house on December 23.

She explained that she had been sneaking Carlos into the house when Lauro was at work, and after he had caught them a couple of times, he asked her to leave the house upon discovering her pregnancy, leading to a heated argument. A significant breakthrough for the police occurred when they received a call from Eloy police, revealing that they had run the license plate on the torched car and discovered that it had been stopped by them on the evening of December 23. This evidence contradicted Linda’s statement. The police were also informed that Carlos had been in juvenile detention and left home a few weeks ago and both Linda and Carlos were apprehended and taken to Carlos’s parent’s house.

The police successfully identified the individuals responsible for torching the car, who turned out to be Carlos’ cousins. Upon questioning, they quickly confessed that both Linda and Carlos had informed them of their involvement in Lauro’s murder and had requested them to dispose of the car and other evidence. They mentioned having an aluminum bat, which they had not discarded. When the DNA on the bat was analyzed, it matched the weapon used to kill Lauro. On December 28, 2004, both Linda and Carlos were arrested. Furthermore, Linda’s medical report revealed that she was not pregnant as claimed.

Carlos Cruz and Linda Garcia are Incarcerated Today

Carlos Cruz’s trial commenced in June 2006, and despite being offered a plea deal in return for testifying against Linda Garcia, he refused. His defense argued that Linda was the one responsible for her father’s murder, citing years of disconnection and discontentment toward him. Carlos was convicted of first-degree murder and received a life sentence with the chance of parole after 25 years. Additionally, he received concurrent sentences totaling 14 years for burglary and car theft related to the case. Carlos, now 35, is serving his sentence at the Lewis Corrections Department in Arizona.

Linda Garcia’s trial began in August 2006, and she promptly asserted in her defense that it was Carlos who had killed her father in a fit of rage after being ejected from the house on the night of December 22, 2004. She was ultimately convicted of first-degree murder and received a life sentence with the possibility of parole in 25 years. Additionally, she was sentenced to an extra 14 years for burglarizing her father’s house and stealing his truck, with the sentences to be served concurrently. Linda, now 40 years old, is serving her sentence at the C.O. Spec Svcs, Arizona.

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