Family of slain Aurora teen: Social media tips helped find suspect in Mexico

AURORA, Colo. — The man accused of strangling an 18-year-old Eaglecrest High School graduate in July 2017 has been arrested in Mexico and deported to the United States.

Family members of Ally Raber say they are relieved after learning Arturo Garcia is being held at a jail in Dallas. Garcia faces extradition to Colorado. Raber’s stepdad, Andy Starrett, is a cousin of FOX31 reporter Michael Konopasek.

“Good, old-fashioned detective work was definitely performed ... through us and definitely through the Aurora Police Department,” Starrett said.

Police found Raber’s body inside the Knights Inn near 6th Avenue and Interstate 225 on July 2, 2017. Investigators immediately zeroed in on Raber’s estranged former boyfriend.

Raber had just graduated from Eaglecrest High School and was headed for the Navy when her life was cut short. Her family says Garcia, 22, had been locked up for domestic violence and had a restraining order issued against him prior to Raber’s death. Family members say they were unaware Raber met Garcia at the motel to seemingly give Garcia another chance.

Starrett and his son, Alex Anderson, never gave up in their search for justice.

“I’ve felt a lot of anger in the past two years looking for Arturo,” Anderson said

Through tips generated on social media, and with the help of friends, Starrett and Anderson say enough information was gathered to lead to Garcia’s arrest.

“That’s where your hope comes from,” Starrett said. “... is just one person somewhere sees something and gets you on the right track.”

Starrett and his wife, Tiffany, have received support from Parents of Murdered Children Colorado Front Range Chapter. Starrett says that help, and Garcia’s arrest, have provided relief.

“It doesn’t bring Ally back, but it gives us peace of mind that he’s not walking the streets,” he said.

Police say Garcia, an American citizen, was deported from Mexico to the United States on Tuesday. It’s unknown how long it will take for Garcia to be extradited to Colorado. Aurora police say local, state and federal law enforcement officers were instrumental in the arrest.

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