$2M Bail for Cold Case Double Murder Suspect

$2M Bail for Cold Case Double Murder Suspect
Photo: File photo of Tony Garcia |  Ventura County District Attorney’s Office
Written By: Robert L. McCullough

February 8, 2023 – Ventura County, Ca. – Proving once again that the wheels of law enforcement—while perhaps slowing over the passage of time—never grind to a dead stop in the relentless pursuit of truth and justice, 68-year-old Oxnard resident Tony Garcia was arrested on February 7th and charged with two murders that occurred in 1981.

According to Ventura County Sheriff’s Department Major Crimes Bureau spokesman Sergeant Albert Ramirez, it was on January 18 , 1981 when the dead body of 20-year-old Camarillo resident Rachel Zendejas was found in the carport of her apartment building, “the apparent victim of a homicide.” Her killer was aggressively pursued for “several years,” but with no suspect identified, “the case became cold.”

Likewise, the December 12, 1981 death of 21-year-old Lisa Gondek—who was determined to have been the victim of homicide following the discovery of her body in a residential fire in her Oxnard apartment—went unsolved “with all leads exhausted.”

But the development and innovations of the national Combined DNA Index System (CODIS), coupled with the efforts of the VCSD Cold Case Unit in 2004 led to the determination that both homicides had been committed by the same individual. The challenge then became finding the person whose DNA matched the evidence now in the record of investigation, and “after several years, there had been no hits.”

Fifteen years passed…and then, in December 2019, Garcia was identified through a DNA match as “the suspect in both homicide cases.” A four-year hunt for Garcia came to an end on February 7th when detectives caught up with him and arrested and charged him with both murders. He was transported to Ventura County jail, where he remains in custody with his bail set at $2,000,000.

 Below is a video provided by the Ventura County DA :


$2M Bail for Cold Case Double Murder Suspect was last modified: February 14th, 2023 by admin
Categories: Ventura

About Author