Victim's Friends And Family React To Dr. Garcia's Arrest
By: Melina Matthes
OMAHA (kptm) - Wearing gray prison striped scrubs and chains; Dr. Anthony Garcia made his first court appearance today.
The judge read Garcia the charges he's faces. Four counts of first-degree murder.
Police arrested Dr. Garcia yesterday on suspicion of killing four people with ties to Creighton University.
11-year-old Thomas Hunter and 57-year-old Shirlee Sherman died in 2008.
Dr. Roger Brumback and his wife Mary were found dead this past May.
Creighton officials said they're relieved that an arrest has been made.
Doctors said when the police chief established the task force they were optimistic and hopeful. They said the arrest of Dr. Garcia brings them closure. Interim chair of the department of pathology, Dr. Poonam Sharma, said she's grateful to the Omaha police department on their hard work on this investigation. "We are all relieved to hear news of the arrest, we have tried to do business as normal as possible since may in the department but the fact that the killer was on the loose was always on our minds," Dr. Sharma said.
Family and friends grieving the loss of their loved ones said they can now move forward.
Dr. Sharma worked alongside Dr. Roger Brumback and Dr. William Hunter, the father of one of the victims. She said the search for the killer was on her mind everyday. "We wondered you know how far the investigation is, do we have any leads, we had the same questions as you guys had."
Dr. Sharma said she was with Dr. Hunter Monday night. She said it's a bittersweet time for the family. "He's a brave man. All the memories are coming back but the family indeed is relieved that we have some answer now."
Shirlee Sherman was one of the victims in the 2008 murders and Dr. Hunter's housekeeper. Her son Jeff said even though his heart was broken after his mother's death, he stayed strong for the family. "It's still all fresh in our minds, but we are relieved and that our family can have some closure," Sherman said.
Tuesday Dr. Garcia's family hired two criminal lawyers, Alison and Robert Motta. Alison Motta said the family believes he's innocent. They said he deserves representation. Alison also said she has not yet spoken with Dr. Garcia and she has not yet seen any of the evidence in the case.
Roger and Mary Brumback's kids sent us a statement about Dr. Garcia's arrest.
"We would like to express our heartfelt appreciation for all of the time and energy of all law enforcement officers involved in this investigation and their continued work in ensuring any guilty party is brought to justice. They have given part of their lives to provide our family with some degree of closure and for that, we are grateful.
We are also thankful for the continued support from the community and for everyone's understanding of our need for privacy."