Maricela dreamed of helping others avoid the pain she endured

Maricela Garcia, 26, of Tarzana, went missing Jan. 12.

Maricela Garcia, the 26-year-old Tarzana woman whose body was found near Golden Valley High School, had plans of going back to school to study sociology and help others overcome the hardships she herself had overcome, her brother told The Signal.

“She had pretty hard life,” her brother Edgar said Wednesday, after county officials confirmed what he feared the most – that the body found on March 7 was indeed his sister.

When asked about his parents, Edgar Garcia said; “It’s been pretty rough. It’s just brutal.”

Lt. Rudy Molano, of the coroner’s department, told The Signal Wednesday morning that a positive identification has been made but that a cause of death has yet to be determined.

Maricela Garcia, 26, of Tarzana, went missing Jan. 12.

Edgar Garcia called The Signal shortly after the body was found March 7, fearing the discovery may have been his sister.

Sadly, those fears were confirmed Wednesday.

Garcia’s body was found shortly after 2 p.m. on March 7. It was found south of Robert C. Lee Parkway, southwest of the high school, at the bottom of an embankment in a “dirt field turnaround” area off of Golden Valley Road.

Sheriff’s homicide detectives brief a forensics technician near the area where human remains were discovered. (Austin Dave/The Signal)

“She wanted to go back to school and she had enrolled to attend Moorpark College,” Edgar said.

“She was going to study sociology and help people so that they wouldn’t have as hard a time as she had,” Garcia said. “She had a pretty hard life.  Everything was a struggle.

“She had a painful life and she wanted to do something so that other people wouldn’t experience the same pain,” he said.

Detectives with the Los Angeles County Sheriff Department’s Homicide Bureau continue their investigation into Garcia’s death and have gone on record to say they suspect foul play; they have not described the case as a murder investigation.

“I know they’re treating it as a crime,” Garcia said, referring to homicide detectives.

“They’re doing a good job, getting as much information as they can,” Garcia said.

Maricela Garcia was last seen on Jan. 13, in the 18200 block of Sherman Way, in the city of Los Angeles, according to a news release issued by the Los Angeles Police Department before her body was found.

She was last seen wearing a white tank top, black jacket, dark jeans, and a white beanie.

Anyone with information about Garcia is urged to call homicide detectives at 323-890-5500.


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