WILLIAMS, Calif. - It's been almost five months now since the death of a young Williams mother who was found dead in her car days after she was reported missing. While her family looks for closure, the search continues for her suspected killer—Salvador Garcia Junior, her ex- boyfriend and father of her child.
On January 8, Karen Garcia was reported missing, just a day after her 19-year-old sister Jessica was killed one of six people killed in a wrong way crash on I-5.
The family's hearts were broken again on January 14 when Karen's body was found in a Woodland parking lot this as friends and family held efforts to try and find her.
Police later said Salvador Garcia Junior is responsible for her death, and since then he's been on the loose.
"How does one person hide from that amount of people looking for you? The marshals are looking for him, they upped the reward to $10,000 dollars," said Tootie Hackett, the kitchen manager at Granzella's Restaurant, the same place where both Karen and her mom worked for years.
"They're scared, they're still living in fear and that's no way to have to live. It's bad enough that their lives are gone like that, but to have them live in fear is just not even right," she said.
Karen's mom hasn't returned to work—that's because she and her family are in hiding, living in a safe house out of state because the suspect hasn't been arrested.
"Karen's mom cannot come and try to put pieces together. She has two daughters buried at the cemetery, she can't even come here and mourn that, she has family here, she just wants to try and put some of her life together and until he's found she can't do that,” Hackett said.
Karen left behind a two-year-old daughter, which Karen's mom now has custody of.
Last month a judge granted the suspect's mom visitation rights, under the condition that she gets a visit every four months under Karen's mom's supervision, she must provide the Garcia family with a travel stipend, and security must be present.
"I just hope it's not devastating to the baby, and the baby sees her maybe starts asking where's my dad, where's my mom, you know," Hackett said.
Hackett has been busy creating Karen's House, a non-profit organization that hopes to build the first domestic violence shelter in Colusa County within the next two years.
She said it's just one way she hopes to honor Karen.
Hackett said the most heartbreaking thing about this tragedy is not knowing how it'll affect Karen's daughter, but she wants her to know, "how much her mom loved her, how proud we are of her, I'm proud she's going to be a strong young lady, and come visit Karen's House and see what we did in dedication of your mom."
Karen's older sister Ana was not available for an interview but in a text message she tells us “Please help us him. We really want answers, justice but mostly peace."
If you have seen Salvador Garcia Junior or know his whereabouts, you're asked to contact police.
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