March 13, 2019– Mary Greeley News – SAN JOSE —The suspect arrested for allegedly fatally stabbing a San Jose woman in her home was in the country illegally despite an extensive criminal record, police said.
San Jose Police Chief Eddie Garcia revealed more details about the arrest of Carlos Eduardo Arevalo Carranza, 24, and the murder of Bambi Larson, 59, at press conference on Tuesday afternoon.
Arevalo Carranza is an admitted gang member from El Salvador, Garcia said, who is currently on probation for drug charges, false imprisonment and burglary. Immigration authorities had placed “detainers” on him six times — twice in the Los Angeles area and four times in Santa Clara county — Garcia said. He was also described as a transient when police announced his arrest earlier in the day.
He stabbed Larson, the mother of adult children and a manager at a biotech business, in her home in the Thousand Oaks neighborhood in February but was not connected to her slaying until police arrested him on March 10 for allegedly possessing methamphetamine, according to Garcia.
DNA collected from him during the latest drug arrest linked him to evidence collected from the murder investigation, Garcia said.
“Critical evidence was recovered along the suspect’s path of egress on Knollfield Way, including t-shirts, which contained the victim’s blood and the suspect’s DNA,” Garcia said.
Police said Arevalo Carranza had cased the neighborhood and appeared to know where security cameras were, covering his face to avoid detection. However, one neighbor’s security video does appear to show him on Knollfield Way in the early morning hours when Larson was killed.
Chief Garcia acknowledged that ICE had previously asked to take custody of him six times — four times in Santa Clara County and two times in Los Angeles County. However, Santa Clara County has a policy of not cooperating with ICE.
Four years ago, Mayor Sam Liccardo sent a letter to county supervisors, seeking to revisit its ICE policy for violent felons. A representative of the mayor’s office said his position has not changed. Chief Garcia said he believes his job is to protect everyone, and he does not want to get into a political fight.
Surveillance footage shows him entering and exiting Larson’s home as well, authorities said.
Arevalo Carranza’s status is an undocumented immigrant could politicize the case, but Garcia hoped it would not erode trust between cops and migrants who had committed no other crimes.
“Those undocumented individuals who are not violent or serious criminals should not fear the police,” Garcia said.