Photo: Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
- Gladys Arellano, 17, was murdered more than 20 years ago and her crime finally has a presumed culprit.
- José Luis García, 43, is in custody accused of having kidnapped, raped and strangled Arellano.
- The man was arrested for another crime and his DNA samples link him to the murder of the girl in 1996.
Gladys Arellano was raped and murdered in California in 1996. After years of mystery, there is finally a detainee accused of this crime.
The case of Arellano, 17 years old at the time of death, was like an unsolved crime for 24 years until science allowed to discover an alleged perpetrator, who was arrested in Dallas, Texas.
José Luis García, 43, was arrested in connection with another crime but his deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) samples, which are taken from all prisoners, link him to the rape and murder of Arellano.
Gladys Arellano was a smiling and friendly girl, the daughter of immigrants, and born and raised in the Hispanic neighborhood of Boyle Heights in East Los Angeles.
On Sunday, January 28, 1996 Arellano, according to his family, had a normal day with his school activities and taking a temporary job. Relatives remember seeing the girl leave her house to see a friend.
The memories of many witnesses are very fresh, until now, because that night was the Super Bowl game of the American football championship between the Dallas Cowboys vs. Pittsburgh Steelers and his family were gathered at the house.
They never saw Gladys Arellano again because the girl never reached her destination. The following Monday, the family filed a missing report with LACSD as no one in Boyle Heights knew about the girl.
For two days the investigation was kept as a case of a disappearance, perhaps an escape, of a teenage girl.