BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — In August 2013, the burned body of Oscar Garcia was found as firefighters doused a grass fire east of Arvin.
Sheriff’s detectives interviewed Garcia’s family and friends but were unable to identify a suspect in his death. Years passed.
Then in February of this year law enforcement received an anonymous letter identifying Garcia’s former girlfriend, Elizabeth Guillen, and two others as being involved in the killing, according to court documents.
Guillen, 42, was arrested in June and charged with first-degree murder. Held on $1 million bail, she’s next due in court July 28.
She faces a life term in prison if convicted.
The documents say the anonymous letter and a couple of interviews conducted with people who said they had knowledge of Garcia’s death identified Guillen as the killer and led to an interview with Guillen at sheriff’s headquarters on June 2.
Guillen admitted during the interview to killing Garcia at their residence, according to the filings. She said she waited until Garcia fell asleep on a couch then retrieved a stick from their backyard and beat him over the head with it, the documents say.
She then wrapped a plastic bag over Garcia’s head and secured it with a “lasso,” according to the documents. Guillen told investigators she drove his body to an area near Bear Mountain Boulevard and General Beale Road, where she doused the corpse with gasoline and lit it on fire.
A pathologist determined Garcia died from smothering with a contributing factor of blunt force trauma to the head, according to the filings.
Guillen told investigators she acted alone in killing Garcia. Someone — the name is redacted in the documents — helped her load the body into the car, she said, but no one helped her kill Garcia.
No one else has been charged in the killing, according to the Kern County Superior Court website.
Guillen said Garcia had been frequently drunk and had occasionally physically abused her and her children during the two years before his death, according to the documents.
“I did it for my kids,” she told detectives.