MOUNTAIN VIEW -- After nearly three decades, police used DNA to link a suspect to the killing of a woman whose body was found in a Mountain View supermarket dumpster 28 years ago.
Mountain View police on Friday arrested 53-year-old Daniel Garcia of Fresno on suspicion of murdering Saba Girmai, who was 21 years old when her body was found in a dumpster in 1985. Garcia is scheduled to be arraigned today in Palo Alto Superior Court.
Detectives linked Garcia to the case through a match on the state's DNA database after the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Crime Laboratory developed a DNA profile from her fingernails in 2010. The resulting profile matched Garcia, who had not previously been linked to Girmai.
"Although there is still more investigative work to be done, the successful outcome of this decades-long investigation was only possible through the hard work and dedication of many investigators and law enforcement agencies," Mountain View Police Department Chief Scott Vermeer said in a statement. "Hopefully this will help bring some closure to Ms. Girmai's family. We never forget about unsolved murder cases and continuously seek out new technology and new leads to help us solve them."
On Jan. 18, 1985, a body was found by a passerby in the dumpster to the rear of the Bailey Park Plaza and Safeway shopping center at 570 N. Shoreline Blvd. in Mountain View. The victim was eventually identified as Girmai, who police say
During the ensuing years, the investigation was frequently revisited but no significant leads were developed until the DNA profile in 2010.
In 2011, Mountain View police and the District Attorney's newly created Cold Case Unit began to reinvestigate the case.
Police said Garcia was arrested and booked on suspicion of murder after being extensively interviewed by a police detective and DA's office investigator.
"No matter how long ago someone was murdered, we don't forget about them,'' Deputy District Attorney Ted Kajani, who heads the cold case unit, said in a press release.
Contact Mark Gomez at 408-920-5869. Follow him on Twitter @MarkMgomez