The Norman Transcript

Headlines

March 16, 2011

Police use familial DNA to make arrest in California assault, robbery case

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. — Rarely used DNA from a suspect’s family member helped authorities link a 21-year-old man to a 2008 robbery and sexual assault at a Santa Cruz coffee shop, police reported.

The arrest is only the second in the nation to use familial DNA to connect a suspect to a crime, said California Attorney General Kamala Harris, who spoke at a news conference in Santa Cruz on Tuesday to announce the arrest. The first familial DNA tests were used in the arrest of the so-called Grim Sleeper suspect, a Los Angeles man accused of 10 murders from 1985 to 2007.

On March 19, 2008, at the Kind Grind Coffee Shop near the Santa Cruz Harbor, a 24-year-old employee was preparing to open the shop when she unlocked the front door about 6 a.m., police said. A man snuck in, threatened her with a knife and sexually assaulted her, prosecutors said. He then tried to lock the woman in a walk-in refrigerator and swiped all the cash from the register and fled, said Police Chief Kevin Vogel.

On Friday, nearly three years after the crime, Elvis Lorenzo Garcia of Santa Cruz was arrested in the case on suspicion of robbery, sodomy, sexual penetration by force and false imprisonment, according to jail records. He is being held in lieu of $1 million bail, District Attorney Bob Lee said.

Police investigated and sent DNA evidence to the state Department of Justice laboratory in November 2008 to try to match it with other suspects’ DNA. The state lab is jammed with hundreds of cases, authorities said. In November 2010, DNA from one of Garcia’s relatives matched DNA taken from the coffee shop, police said.

Police quickly ruled out Garcia’s relative and kept a close watch on Garcia from November 2010 to January 2011. Police obtained arrest and search warrants for him.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Headlines
  • Junior Police Graduation First Junior Police Academy graduates

    The room went dark and a slideshow flipped through photos of children participating in the first Junior Police Academy as kids chattered excitedly, remembering what they had done over the past two weeks. Norman Police Department hosted ...

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Officials say transparency lacking in Wal-Mart zoning

    Norman city staff recently admitted to withholding information from the public regarding a controversial zoning change in southeast Norman. If approved by the city council, the proposal will allow a Wal-Mart supercenter at Cedar Lane and ...

    July 25, 2014

  • Air Algerie jet crashes with 116 on board

    OUAGADOUGO, Burkina Faso — An Air Algerie jetliner carrying 116 people crashed Thursday in a rainstorm over restive Mali, and its wreckage was found near the border of neighboring Burkina Faso — the third major international aviation ...

    July 25, 2014

  • Nonprofit raises $3.9M-plus for new center

    The Center for Children and Families, a United Way of Norman partner agency, announced Thursday that it exceeded its public fundraising goal of $3.5 million and raised more than $3.9 million to complete the purchase and renovation of a ...

    July 25, 2014

  • Very bad week: Airline disasters come in a cluster

    WASHINGTON — Nearly 300 passengers perish when their plane is shot out of the sky. Airlines suspend flights to Israel’s largest airport after rocket attacks. Two airliners crash during storms. Aviation has suffered one of its worst weeks ...

    July 25, 2014

  • Police log

    Police responded to the following incidents Wednesday: · 5:58 a.m. indecent exposure, 100 block of West Comanche Street · 6:08 a.m. burglary in progress, 100 block of West Hayes Street · 8:09 a.m. larceny report, 100 ...

    July 25, 2014

  • Felonies filed

    The following people were charged with felony counts in the Cleveland County Court Clerk’s Office: · Angela Beth Mendinghall, 36, unauthorized use of a vehicle; driving with a canceled, suspended or revoked license · Daniel ...

    July 25, 2014

  • Immigrant children being placed with sponsors

    OKLAHOMA CITY — The federal government says more than 200 unaccompanied children in Oklahoma have been placed with sponsors so far this year. The federal government released a state-by-state breakdown Thursday of the numbers of ...

    July 25, 2014

  • OCU prepares to move law library downtown

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma City University’s School of Law is moving its library into a historic building in downtown Oklahoma City....

    July 25, 2014

  • Grad to serve as delegate at camp

    William Long, 2014 Norman North High School graduate, recently represented Oklahoma as a delegate at the 2014 National Youth Science Camp. Long joined 100 other top high school graduates representing the United States and eight other ...

    July 25, 2014