Using DNA testing to resurrect a 28-year-old murder investigation, the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s office found a suspect in Saba Girmai’s murder.
The 21-year-old was strangled and left in a Safeway dumpster in a shopping center on North Shoreline Boulevard in Mountain View in 1985. She was a resident of the San Jose area.
According to the Mountain View Police Department, no “significant leads” were developed in the years that followed her death. But in 2010, the district attorney’s crime laboratory developed a DNA profile from evidence on the victim’s fingernails allegedly identifying Daniel Garcia, now 53, a resident of Fresno. He had not been previously linked to Girmai.
Mountain View police and the district attorney’s office reopened the case. After interviewing Garcia, they charged and arrested him for Girmai’s murder Jan. 4.
“We never forget about unsolved murder cases and continuously seek out new technology and new leads to help solve them,” Mountain View Police Chief Scott Vermeer said in announcing the arrest.