An update on this awful murder case out of Virginia from a couple of years ago... Next week, Julio Miguel Blanco Garcia will face trial in the 2010 murder of 19-year-old Vanessa Pham, who was stabbed repeatedly and left to die in her car: Pretrial filings reveal details in 2010 killing of Falls Church teen Vanessa Pham.
According to pre-trial documents filed by the prosecution, Pham was giving Blanco Garcia and his infant daughter a ride to the hospital after they approached her at a shopping center in Falls Church. At some point, Blanco Garcia, who was apparently high on PCP, grabbed a butcher knife from his bag and stabbed Pham. Thirteen times.
The fatal assault sent the car into a roadside ditch. All of this happened while Blanco Garcia's 1-year-old daughter was riding in the car with them:
As the three drove in Pham's white Scion, Julio Miguel Blanco Garcia became agitated when the college freshman drove the wrong way down a road, he later told authorities. The day laborer, who has a history of arrests and drug problems, said he had smoked PCP that day.The case drew intense media coverage, but the murder remained a mystery for two and a half years, until a break in the case came in the form of a fingerprint match:
Blanco Garcia feared that Pham would call the police, he told investigators, so he grabbed a butcher knife from his backpack. With his 1-year-old daughter nearby, he plunged the knife into Pham. She cried. He stabbed her again and again — an autopsy showed a total of 13 times.
The car lurched out of control and landed on its side in a ditch off Arlington Boulevard, according to a police report. Blanco Garcia said he clambered out of the sunroof, snatched his daughter and ran. Pham was left to die.
As the investigation ground on, 21 / 2 years passed. Authorities seemed no closer to an arrest. Then on Dec. 10, 2012, they got a huge break. An official from a regional fingerprint database called a Fairfax County detective to say there was a match on the prints collected at the scene.The Washington Post has a timeline recapping the case here.
"[Blanco Garcia] was arrested in April for larceny of champagne. Imagine that!!" Fairfax County police detective Robert Bond wrote in an e-mail the same day.
Blanco Garcia had stolen three bottles of Moet & Chandon from a Giant Food store in McLean, court records show. Police took his fingerprints after his conviction.
Three days after the fingerprint match, Blanco Garcia was arrested at a job site in Vienna. He told authorities that he never told anyone about the killing. A search of his computer revealed that he appeared to track the progress of the investigation online.