Mtn. View police arrest cold-case murder suspect
Using DNA testing to resurrect a long-dormant murder investigation, the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s office identified a suspect in Saba Girmai’s murder. The 21-year-old woman was strangled and left in a supermarket 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” developed in the years that followed her death. But in 2010, the district attorney’s crime laboratory created a DNA profile from evidence on the victim’s fingernails allegedly identifying Daniel Garcia, now 53, of Fresno. He had not been previously linked to Girmai.
Mountain View police and the district attorney’s office began to reinvestigate the case. After interviewing Garcia, they charged and arrested him with Girmai’s murder Jan. 4.
“We never forget about unsolved murder cases and continuously seek out new technology and new leads to help us solve them,” Mountain View Police Chief Scott Vermeer said in announcing the arrest.
Los Altos police made seven arrests for driving under the influence during a special enforcement period Dec. 14 to Jan. 2. The countywide “Avoid the 13” campaign brings together agencies to crack down on holiday-season drunken driving.
Lost and found
Jan. 5, 2:05 p.m., 201 Almond Ave.: A resident reported finding a calculator.
Jan. 6, 1700 block of Holt Ave.: A resident reported credit card fraud.
– Eliza Ridgeway
Jan. 5-6: Three additional residents called police about sewer backups. Winter rain caused sewer problems throughout town (see story on page 5). Bautista said residents call 911 to report sewer problems and police dispatchers transfer them to city hall.
Jan. 6, 1:43 p.m., Showers Drive and El Camino Real: Los Altos police officers responded to a request for assistance when an unruly individual on a VTA bus acted up during a medical response on his or her behalf.
“It was fine by the time we got there,” Sgt. Mark Bautista reported.
Stolen vehicle recovered
Jan. 6, 1:07 p.m., 4290 El Camino Real: A routine check of license plate numbers revealed a car reported as stolen located at the Crowne Plaza Cabaña Hotel. The case was referred to Palo Alto police, as the hotel is in that city’s jurisdiction.
– Eliza Ridgeway