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Suspects Sought in Homicide and Dismemberment at Skid Row Apartment

By David Markland
Published: Wednesday, December 08, 2010, at 02:06PM
DSC01376 David Markland [Flickr]

Police believe Edward Garcia Jr. and Melissa Hope Garcia may still be in the Los Angeles area after allegedly killing Herbert Tracy White at Downtown's Continental Hotel.

A Pennsylvania couple is being sought for allegedly killing and dismembering a man at the Continental Hotel near Skid Row.

Edward Garcia Jr., 36, and his wife Melissa Hope Garcia, 25, are suspected of killing Hollywood resident Herbert Tracy White late last month inside their hotel room, then using a knife to dismember him. On the morning of November 29th, a maid at the hotel found the remains and alerted police. LAPD Newton Area detectives discovered several body parts inside of a backpack and wrapped in blankets.

The Continental Hotel is a 70-unit residential hotel located at 800 E. 7th.

At a press conference held Wednesday morning, family members described White as a good samaritan, a handyman who was always willing to go out of his way to help anyone in need.

White had recently told his younger brother David not to be offended if they talked less leading up to the holidays. "It's my busy time of year," the elder White explained, saying that the pressure and loneliness of the holidays could cause recovering addicts to slip, and he would need to devote more time to help them.

Around 2am on November 28, his wife, Annie Coty-White said he'd received a phone call and told her he needed to give someone a ride. According to her, it wasn't unusual for White to give rides to strangers at odd hours, especially if it was to keep them from drunk driving. He told her, "I'll see you tomorrow," and that was the last time she him.

Police believe the couple he may have given a ride were the Garcias, who they say then killed him.

The Garcias have a lengthy criminal record including violent robberies and kidnapping. A February 2009 news report describes the botched robbery of a crack dealer in York, PA that ended with Edward Garcia, Jr. stabbed, his wife Melissa shot in the foot, and all of them, including the crack dealer, under arrest. The charges for the Garcias included kidnapping for luring a crack dealer to their home before robbing him at gunpoint. The Susquehanna Valley News described the couple as crack addicts.

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of the Garcias is urged to contact Detective Arciniega or Detective Benavides at 323-846-6556 or the Newton Area Watch Commander at 323-846-6547.


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