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Wyoming murder suspects arrested in Effingham
0401 Pedro Garcia
Pedro Garcia Jr.

Two suspects in a Wyoming murder were arrested in Effingham County last week, according to investigators.

Sandra Garcia, 27, was taken into custody in Rincon and her brother Pedro Garcia Jr., 28, was arrested in Eden last Wednesday, said Effingham County Sheriff’s Office Chief Investigator Sgt. Don White. A third suspect, John Louis Marquez, 51, was apprehended in Bonham, Texas, according to a press release from the Park County (Wyo.) Sheriff’s Office.

Charges were filed Thursday against all three suspects in the murder of Juan Antonio Guerra-Torres, 30. His decapitated body was found on Jan. 9, 2014 in Badger Basin, Wyo.

Sandra Garcia reportedly was Guerra-Torres’ girlfriend at the time of his murder and is the mother of his children. She never reported Guerra-Torres as missing and later told investigators he had been abusive, according to the Powell (Wyo.) Tribune.

The ECSO teamed with the Park County Sheriff’s Office, Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation and Georgia Bureau of Investigation on the case. Wyoming authorities were in Effingham from Monday-Thursday of last week, White said.

“Basically they came down here just trying to follow up some leads and do some interviews, and ended up breaking it wide open,” he said.

Pedro Garcia was arrested at his Eden home on drug-related warrants, according to White. As investigators continued questioning Garcia, he confessed to the role he and his sister played in Guerra-Torres’ murder.

“They interviewed him extensively and eventually he broke,” White said. “And then that’s when we had enough to go pick up Sandra Garcia.”

Pedro Garcia reportedly told investigators that his sister had asked for his help in “taking care of” Guerra-Torres. Pedro Garcia said he recruited and paid Marquez to kill Guerra-Torres and helped move his body, the Powell Tribune reported.

Sandra and Pedro Garcia moved to Effingham less than a year ago, White said. The Garcias chose the area because they knew someone here, he added.

The brother and sister lived together in Eden before Sandra Garcia moved into her boyfriend’s home in Rincon, according to White. Pedro Garcia worked in construction and Sandra Garcia was employed by the Pooler Walmart, he said.

“They weren’t really trying to hide,” White said. “They were using their real names. They were all interviewed initially in the case, and then the fact that they all packed up and moved basically threw up a bunch of red flags.”

Sandra Garcia reportedly gave conflicting stories about what happened to Guerra-Torres, telling her mother that he had been arrested and telling her father that she had put Guerra-Torres on a bus to Mexico. Hunters found his mutilated body, which was missing the head and left arm, on a remote dirt road.

Sandra Garcia and Pedro Garcia were each charged with first-degree conspiracy to commit murder and first-degree aiding and abetting murder. Marquez was charged with first-degree murder and first-degree conspiracy to commit murder.

Sandra Garcia remained in Effingham County Jail as of press time and Marquez was still being held in Texas. Pedro Garcia waived extradition back to Wyoming on an unrelated charge of allowing children to be in a dwelling or room where methamphetamine was stored.