Salvador Garcia Jr.

Blunt force trauma to the head was the cause death of a Colusa woman found in her car in a Woodland parking lot, the Yolo County Coroner’s Office said Wednesday.

Investigators have not yet been able to determine a murder weapon in the death of Karen Garcia, 21. The coroner said autopsy results showed Garcia had been dead for more than a day when her body was discovered in her car on Sunday afternoon. She had been missing since Jan. 8.

Salvador Garcia Jr., 22, the man suspected of killing Karen Garcia, his ex-girlfriend, was still on the run as of Wednesday evening, according to Colusa law enforcement. Police have no new leads pointing to his whereabouts.

Officers have cellphones belonging to Salvador Garcia Jr. and Karen Garcia, Colusa Police Chief Joshua Fitch said. He also said the Colusa Police Department obtained warrants from cellphone companies to access communications between the pair. As of Wednesday night, police had not yet received the cellphone records.

Officers lost contact with Salvador Garcia Jr. on Friday after taking possession of his car to check for evidence. Blood was found inside his car and apartment, Fitch said.

Anyone with information on Salvador Garcia Jr. is asked to call police at 458-7777.

The state Department of Justice is running tests to determine if the blood found in Salvador Garcia Jr.’s apartment and car was that of Karen Garcia’s, Fitch said. Those results will be available next week.

Salvador Garcia’s employer – Bar ALE feed company, based in Williams – confirmed he didn’t show up to work on Friday, the day police impounded his car.

His supervisor, Joel Douglas, said Salvador Garcia worked the week Karen Garcia was missing – on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. 

“Friday morning was the last time I heard from him; he asked for that day off,” Douglas said. “He was scheduled to work Saturday, and I asked if he could make it, but I never got a response.”

Tracy Lewis, one of the company’s owners, said he and his colleagues were shocked Salvador Garcia Jr. evaded police.

“From my experience with him, he was a good employee,” Lewis said. “He’s been with us for a couple years; he was a nicemannered young man who always showed up on time and did his job. We were shocked.”

Lewis said Salvador Garcia Jr. previously worked at Granzella’s restaurant in Williams, at the same time as his ex-girlfriend Karen Garcia, and managers gave him glowing reviews for work performance when he was hired at Bar ALE feed company.

“He was a good employee; I never would have expected this,” Douglas said.

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