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Suspect Arrested in Transient's Slaying

Ventura County Focus / West | VENTURA

January 21, 1998|SCOTT HADLY

Almost a year after Marsha Ann Lane was found strangled on the steps of Lincoln Elementary School, detectives have arrested a suspect in the case.

Ventura police investigators arrested Jose Maria Garcia, 54, on Tuesday on suspicion of killing Lane on Feb. 18, 1997, just after his release from a six-month stay at the Ventura County Jail on a drug charge.

Lane, a 43-year-old transient, was dating Garcia, officials said. A friend of the pair said they were together the afternoon before Lane's death at a free lunch for the homeless in west Ventura. The two had been arguing, the friend said.

Lane, who had two grown daughters and a 4-year-old son in foster care, frequented the downtown and Avenue area of Ventura, according to police.

Detectives are still investigating the case. Anyone with information is asked to contact Ventura Police Det. Gary McCaskill at 339-4482.

Garcia is being held at the Ventura County Jail and is scheduled to be arraigned on murder charges today.

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