Two Men Questioned About Two Separate El Monte Homicides
POSTED: 6:50 am PDT April 23, 2008
UPDATED: 6:56 am PDT April 23, 2008
EL MONTE, Calif. -- Two men were in custody Wednesday in connection with two separate homicides in El Monte, including a shooting in broad daylight that claimed the life of a woman who allegedly served as a police informant.
Elaine Garza, 41, of El Monte, was killed in the 12000 block of Valley Boulevard, between Mountain View Road and Durfee Avenue, around 2:25 p.m. Tuesday, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department reported.
Garza's mother, Eleanor Chavez, said her daughter was a police informant, the San Gabriel Valley Tribune reported.
"The whole family knew this was coming," Garza's mother told the newspaper. "She was into a lot of bad stuff."
Following the shooting, witnesses pointed El Monte police to a motel near the parking lot, saying the shooter had run into the facility, said Deputy Luis Castro of the Sheriff's Headquarters Bureau.
Officers went to the location and detained a man who had a handgun that fires bullets of the same caliber as the expended rounds found at the crime scene, Castro said.
The man, whose name was not immediately released, was brought to the El Monte Police Department as a person of interest in the shooting, he said.
"The man hasn't been officially charged," Deputy Denise Fuchs of SHB said this morning, adding that he was being questioned.
There were surveillance cameras in the parking lot that may contain video of the shooting, Castro said.
Garza recently told a friend that she felt threatened, the Tribune reported.
"I took her to Victory Outreach (church) and she just got blessed," the woman, who wanted to remain anonymous, told the newspaper. "I have never seen her so scared."
Also in custody Wednesday was Adolfo Montelongo, 50, who was arrested in connection with the fatal stabbing of a 42-year-old man at the Scenic Motel and Bar, the Tribune reported. Montelongo is being held at El Monte city jail in lieu of $1 million bail, according to the Sheriff's Department Web site.
Shortly after midnight Tuesday, El Monte police were summoned to the 10000 block of Garvey Avenue, near North Merced Avenue, where King Taco employees discovered the victim in the restaurant's parking lot. The victim was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead, Fuchs said. His name was withheld pending family notification.
During the investigation, police discovered a trail of the victim's blood between the Scenic Bar and King Taco's. The victim had apparently been arguing with a bouncer -- Montelongo -- just before the stabbing, the Tribune reported.
"We are still investigating what happened," El Monte police Detective. Tim Siedentopp told the newspaper. "It is a 'he said, she said' thing."
The two homicides -- one occurring about 14 hours after the other -- took place about a mile apart. Anyone with any information on either homicide was urged to call detectives at the Sheriff's Homicide Bureau at 323-890- 5500.
The scary part is in the coming weeks I'll start working at 12034 Valley Blvd. The woman in the article above was killed literally less than 200 feet away from the front door of the store. It's about 8 miles from my cute little house and safe Middle-America in Monrovia. It's strange, all of it.