Family says South Bay murder suspect was victim’s good friend


CHULA VISTA, Calif. – Police have arrested a 28-year-old woman for allegedly murdering another woman who was found dead in August in a brushy field near the Otay River, and family members say the two had been close.

Vanesa Gastellu is accused of killing 23-year-old Christina Garcia, according to the Chula Vista Police Dept. Garcia’s body, which had sustained an apparent gunshot wound, was discovered Aug. 5 behind a Smart & Final store in the 3100 block of Main Street, authorities said.

Gastellu was arrested with assistance of the U.S. Marshals’ San Diego Regional Fugitive Task Force.

โ€œI canโ€™t get into any details as to what we did — but the investigators were working tirelessly to identify and locate the suspect,” said Lt. Miriam Foxx.

Police have not released information about what prompted the killing or if the two women knew each other. Authorities are continuing to search for potential witnesses and additional information on the case.

A member of the Garcia family told FOX 5 the two women were good friends.

Police are asking anyone who may have information to contact San Diego County Crime Stoppers at 888-580-8477.

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