Tattoo solves seven-year-old murder case

April 23rd, 2011 - 4:30 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, April 23 (IANS/EFE) A murder in the US that took place in 2004 was solved after the police noticed a detailed image of the crime tattooed on the chest of a street-gang member.

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department homicide investigator Kevin Lloyd couldn’t believe his eyes when, flipping through photos of gang members, he saw Rivera 13 gangster Anthony Garcia sporting a tattoo that depicted the 2004 murder in Pico Rivera.

Garcia was arrested in 2008 at a police checkpoint on suspicion of driving without a license, and, as is standard practice with gang members, was photographed shirtless before his release to document any identifying tattoos.

Drawn on his chest was the detailed image of a crime that the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department had been working on fruitlessly for four years - the killing of a rival gang member, 23-year-old John Juarez.

The tattoo, whose image was provided Friday by the sheriff’s department, contained all the details of the crime - Christmas lights corresponding to the date of the murder, the name of the street, the liquor store where the slaying occurred and even the position of the victim’s body where it fell after being shot.

Over the image were tattooed the words “Rivera Kills”, a reference to the murder committed by the gang Garcia belonged to, Rivera 13.

In the drawing, the shots come from a small helicopter representing Garcia’s gang nickname, “Chopper”.

The body of the slain youth is characterised by a peanut, a reference to the belittling name that gang members call their rivals.

Thanks to the tattoo, the sheriff’s department was able to reopen investigations and obtain a quick confession from Anthony Garcia, enabling charges to be filed against him and finally ending with his conviction of first degree murder.

Garcia will be sentenced next month.

–IANS/EFE
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