DNA leads to arrest in 25-year-old cold case

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Jose Luis Garcia, 42, was charged Monday in the death of Gladys Arellano, who partially clothed body was found at the bottom of a ravine near Malibu on Jan. 30, 1996, LA County Sheriff’s Department said.

Arellano ,17, was last seen three days earlier in her mom in the city’s Boyle Heights section. An autopsy showed she had been raped, beaten, and strangled, according to New York Post.

DNA evidence was taken off her body and put into CODIS, but no matches were found for over two decades.

On Nov. 10, 2019, Garcia was arrested on domestic assault charges, according to CBSLA. A DNA sample was taken from him and put in the database, where a match was found.

After his arrest, Garcia moved to Dallas, where he was arrested by US Marshals on Sept.29. He was extradited to California and is currently being held on $1 million bail, according to New York Post.

Arellano’s niece, Samantha Moreno thanked investigators Wednesday.

“We are pleased to know that Jose Luis Garcia has been taken of the streets after 24-and-a-half years,” Moreno told reporters. “We want nothing more than for him to pay for his brutal crime.”

Arellano would have been 42 this month, Moreno said.

According to the Los Angeles Times, investigators said that Garcia and Arellano lived close together, but no other connection is known between the two.

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