ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE)- He was supposed to face a judge for the first time Friday. Instead, the suspected car thief accused of killing a 14-year-old and her mother was indicted by a grand jury two days before he was even captured.
Now he remains locked up, and the victims’ family, while still grieving, has some relief.
David Arredondo is grieving the loss of his wife and daughter.
“I’m still in denial. I still can’t believe it,” said Arredondo.
But when he got word of 24-year-old Paul Garcia’s arrest Thursday he said the family felt hopeful.
“Great news. Some of the best we’ve heard since they caught the first suspect,” said Arredondo.
After being on the run for more than two weeks, Garcia was arrested at a McDonald’s inside the Edgewood Walmart thanks to an employee who spotted him and called police.
“It’s great relief for us, but I’ll tell you who it’s greater relief for — their family,” said Albuquerque Police Chief Gorden Eden.
Police already arrested the alleged driver, 21-year-old Elexus Groves, shortly after the crash.
“I wish this could never happen again to anyone. It’s just horrible,” David Arredondo said.
Now Shaylee and Shaunna’s family said they just want justice.
“I would like these two people that took my girls away from me to spend the rest of their days miserable and feeling guilty for every single thing they did to my family,” Shaunna’s mother said. “I want them to suffer as we are.”
“To both of them, I just hope they live with this, think about it, dream about it the way I have been for the last two weeks, and it just eats them alive,” David Arredondo said.
The family already had a memorial for Shaylee shortly after the crash. Hundreds of people showed up. Now, Arredondo said they’re planning a funeral for Shaunna next week.
Indicting a suspect even before they are arrested doesn’t happen very often. The District Attorney’s Office said they did it here because they combined Groves and Garcia’s cases, and cases must be taken to a grand jury within 10 days of a person’s arrest. In this case, that applies to Groves.
Garcia will be back in court next week. Both Garcia and Groves remain jailed on a $100,000 cash only bond.
Friday, KRQE News 13 obtained video showing Garcia’s arrest at a McDonald’s inside an Edgewood Wal-Mart.
It shows him casually shopping at Wal-Mart and then going to McDonald’s. That’s where a McDonald’s employee spotted him and called police.
Police then move in and arrest Garcia without incident.