The Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office told Stephen Baxter of the Santa Cruz Sentinel last Friday that the murder of Mongol Eric Dean “Pee-Ka” Garcia has become a cold case. Deputy April Skalland told the paper, “Our case, as it stands, is a cold case because we don’t have any new leads.”
On March 14, the Sheriff’s Office distributed a press release that stated, “Investigation has determined that Garcia was last seen alive at the Park Lane Lounge, 5152 Moorpark Ave, San Jose, on September 19 at 2:00 a.m. in the company of persons associated with the Ghost Mountain Riders Motorcycle Club.”
The Sentinel reported that Garcia was last seen talking “to a man who wore a Ghost Mountain Riders Motorcycle Club jacket.” The Ghost Mountain Riders have denied that any of their members had any connection to the murder. In September police said that his disappearance was not connected to his membership in the Mongols.
Garcia vanished from the Park Lane Lounge. His family reported him missing on September 20 and his body was discovered by a hiker in a remote, wooded area near Mount Bache Road south of Los Gatos, California on October 14. He was 32. His motorcycle, a black, 1985, Harley FLT with California license number 18W5272 is still missing
Garcia was one of four Mongols who pled no contest, to charges resulting from the shooting a Hells Angel named Robert Daniel Thompson outside a bar called The Shanty in Eureka, California in November 2008. Garcia and Dustin Liebes pled no contest to a charge of “participation in a criminal street gang.” Eric Gunner Lundin pled no contest to felony assault with a firearm and being a member of a criminal street gang. Brad Miller pled no contest to being an accessory after the fact to felony assault. Thompson survived and did not implicate any of the four men.
Christina Johnson, Garcia’s sister-in-law, told the Sentinel she doesn’t know if Garcia’s membership in the Mongols had anything to do with his murder. “We just want to figure out why this happened. Why was he murdered? What was so important to take his life?” Johnson told the paper. “You can’t have full closure until you understand why.”
Since the police are stumped, Garcia’s family has hired a private detective to investigate the case. The family also hopes to raise a reward for information leading to the solution of the case.
The family still has a Facebook page dedicated to Pee-Ka Garcia’s memory. You can view that page here.