When 23-year old John Juarez was shot dead in front of the Los-Angeles-area Ed’s Liquor in 2004, cops couldn’t figure out who did it. The case sat unsvolved and cold for four years. That is until a vigilant cop happened upon a curious mug shot:
That’s 22-year old Anthony Garcia, a member of the notorious LA gang Rivera-13, who was arrested in 2008 for driving without a license. As part of procedure, cops took a picture of his tattoos and entered it into a database. Later that year, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Homicide Detective Sergeant Kevin Lloyd was looking through the photos. That’s when he noticed something odd: the scene tattooed on the front of Garcia‘s chest looked a lot like the the crime scene from Juarez’s murder:
The LA Sheriff’s Department describes the similarities Lloyd noticed:
He pored over the cold case file and compared the crime scene photos with the photo of the tattoo on Garcia’s chest.
The tattoo window and frames of the store are similar to the crime scene photo of the liquor store, even the tattoo line on the roof represents the Christmas lights.
The tattoo shows a peanut man being shot then falling down face down. A helicopter is depicted shooting the peanut man.
The gang nickname of convicted murderer Anthony Garcia is “Chopper.” (Chopper is common slang for a helicopter)
Garcia’s gang refers to members of their rival gang as “peanuts.”
The direction that the shots were actually fired, matched those in the tattoo.
The tattoo street light and street sign to the left of the liquor store resemble the corner of Rosemead and Carron St., the scene of the murder.
The Daily Mail reports what happened next:
After Lloyd recognised the mural, sheriff’s detectives arrested Garcia for the shooting and officers, posing as gang members, got a confession from the gang member who bragged to them about carrying out the shooting.
This week, it led to a first-degree murder conviction in a case that police had at one time given up hope of ever solving.
Lloyd, the investigator who cracked the case, had been at the scene of the murder in 2004 when he was a station sergeant in Pico Rivera, Los Angeles.
“Think about it. He tattooed his confession on his chest. You have a degree of fate with this,” Captain Mike Parker told the LA Times.