The victim of Sunday night's murder in Pelham, Alabama has been identified as 32 year old Maria Garcia of El Salvador:
Garcia was also known by the following aliases: Maria Luz Ortiz, Luz Rivera DeGarcia, and Daisy Xiomara De-Rivera.
Police have not released the cause of death, Garcia was found dead in a car parked on Stonehaven Trail Sunday morning:
Stonehaven Trail is a relatively busy street used as a shortcut between Shelby County 52 and U.S. 31 to avoid crossing railroad tracks closer to downtown Pelham.
My sister and I took that shortcut Monday afternoon specifically to avoid the train that always seems to show up when you're in a hurry. It was shocking to see policeman investigating a murder in that area. Or actually a murder anywhere in Pelham. Murder is rare here, Garcia's is the first in two years and only the fourth since 2000.
Garcia's legal status has not been mentioned but considering she had three aliases one can reasonably assume she is here illegally. And she's from El Salvador and when I think of El Salvador I can't help but think of MS-13. Police are playing this close to the vest and aren't releasing many details. Hopefully this is not gang related. If it is, our safe little city could be in trouble. However this turns out, it is shocking. My niece and her husband recently bought a house in the Stonehaven neighborhood. Although Garcia's murder is likely an isolated case, it's still cause for concern. I trust the police will get to the bottom of it - and soon.
RIP Maria Garcia (Maria Luz Ortiz, Luz Rivera DeGarcia, and Daisy Xiomara De-Rivera).