Vanessa Pham's car caught on surveillance camera leaving parking lot
FAIRFAX COUNTY, Va. (WUSA) -- Twenty-seven-year-old Julio Blanco Garcia appeared before a judge Friday for his arraignment on a second degree murder charge in connection with the June 27th 2010 murder of 19-year-old Vanessa Pham. Blanco-Garcia was denied bond.
Family, friends and the community are still reacting to the tremendous break in the Vanessa Pham murder case.
On Thursday, U.S. Marshals arrested the Falls Church man at a Vienna construction site where he was working.
Police say Blanco-Garcia was not on their radar. They won't go into detail on the forensic evidence. It could be anything from DNA, fingerprints or fibers.
Blanco-Garcia is a Guatamalan national and is in the United States illegally. Vanessa Pham was seen in her white car leaving the Fairfax County Shopping Plaza two and a half years ago. She was found less than an hour later a few blocks away in her crashed car stabbed to death.
Detectives visited the family on Friday and emotions overwhelmed relatives as if they were reliving the horror of their loss.
The Pham family issued a statement on Friday:
On behalf of my family, and amidst the tragedy unfolding today in CT for which we offer our deepest expressions of sorrow and sympathy to all those affected by a similarly random and destructive act of violence, I want to thank everyone who has kept Vanessa in their thoughts and prayers for the past two and a half years. We are incredibly grateful for all of the hard work and persistence of the Fairfax County Police and Homicide Departments in continuing to search for answers to her death on June 27th, 2010; it has been a long, painful and emotional journey for all of us and we are hopeful that we can now find a small amount of closure to this family tragedy. We will always remember Vanessa; we know this development will not bring her back to us, but we trust that it will enable us to focus our efforts on honoring her life and spirit rather than on the haunting uncertainty and mystery of what transpired that day. We thank the community and all of Vanessa's friends and extended family.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials released the following statement on Friday:
"On Dec. 13, the Capital Area Regional Fugitive Task Force, which consists of U.S. Marshals deputies and inspectors, Fairfax County Police detectives and sheriff's deputies and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) Washington, DC Fugitive Operations Unit officers arrested Julio Blanco-Garcia, a citizen and national of Guatemala, in Vienna, Va. on a homicide warrant issued out of Fairfax County, Va. ERO officers placed a detainer on Julio Blanco-Garcia after it was determined that he was in violation of U.S. immigration law."
Garcia is scheduled to be in court on Dec. 21 for a defense counsel selection. He will have a preliminary hearing February, 13, 2013.
United States Marshals located Garcia at a house under construction in the Town of Vienna near the intersection of Glyndon Street S.E. and Locust Street S.E. shortly after noon Thursday. "He was taken into custody without incident, " said Fairfax County acting Police chief James A. Morris.
Morris said that "to the best of my knowledge, they [Garcia and Pham] did not have a relationship."
On the afternoon of Pham's death, police were initially called to Arlington Boulevard and Williams Drive at 3:34 p.m. on June 27, 2010 for a vehicle crash.
Officers found Pham deceased inside a 2008 two-door Toyota in a ditch off the south side of Arlington Boulevard.
She had trauma to her upper body, which police say was not consistent with the crash.
Later, detectives learned that Pham visited a business in the Fairfax Plaza Shopping Center in the 2900 block of Gallows Road, around 3 p.m. on June 27.
Video surveillance showed her car in the Fairfax Plaza Shopping Center shortly before police responded to the crash.
A part of the video shows Pham's car attempting to exit the parking lot, with vehicles behind her car and other cars on Gallows Road attempting to enter the parking lot.