ESCONDIDO, Calif. -- A 50-year-old Mexican national suspected of killing his estranged wife at a home in an unincorporated area outside Escondido over the weekend remained at large Monday morning.
Juan Garcia, who also goes by Jose Luis Paredes and Jose Moreno, fled after allegedly fatally injuring 46-year-old Teresa Ortiz at a home in the 3000 block of North Broadway near Cougar Pass Road early Saturday evening, according to the San Diego County Sheriff's Department. Although Garcia was a long-time Escondido resident, authorities said he may attempt to flee his native country.
Ortiz was found with severe upper body trauma shortly before 5:30 p.m. Saturday and later died at a hospital, sheriff's Lt. Kenneth Nelson said. Authorities have yet to release her official cause of death, but the San Diego Union-Tribune reported that she had been shot.
Garcia's faded red Ford Explorer was later found abandoned at a commercial property a few miles north of where Ortiz was mortally wounded, Nelson said. It was not immediately clear whether Garcia left the SUV on foot or was picked up.
Garcia is Hispanic, roughly 5 feet 8 and 170 pounds with brown eyes and curly, shoulder-length black hair. He is clean-shaven and has a small tattoo on the outside web of his right hand. Authorities said Garcia uses a variety of names and dates of birth.
Sheriff's officials said Garcia was considered armed and dangerous and may be toting a large semi-automatic handgun. Anyone with information on his whereabouts was asked to call the sheriff's department at 858-974-2321 or 858-565-5200, or to contact Crime Stoppers' anonymous tip line at 888-580- 8477.