Carlos Eduardo Arevalo Carranza, 24, was arrested on Monday, March 11, as a suspect in the February slaying of 59-year-old Bambi Larson.
Carranza—a transient and self-admitted gang member—had previously been deported from the United States, according to ABC7. He also had at least six detainer requests filed against him via Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), CBS SF reported, which were ignored.
San Jose police are continuing their investigation into the murder of 59-year-old Bambi Larson last week, saying evidence may point to a crime of passion. https://t.co/hCfRJKH9h1
— KPIX 5 (@KPIXtv) March 7, 2019
Larson, a manager at a Bay Area medical testing company, was found bludgeoned and stabbed to death on Feb. 28 in her home. Suspicions were raised when she failed to show up for work. Her son and a co-worker did a welfare check and found her body in the bedroom, according to Fox.
— KRON4 News (@kron4news) March 12, 2019
Jose Police Chief Eddie Garcia said at a press conference Carranza “stalked” Larson’s neighborhood before allegedly killing her with a knife and blunt force trauma.
The coroner’s office was cited by KPIX as saying Larson died from “sharp force injuries to the neck and torso.”
Larson is the mother of two adult children.
Here’s a look a the memorial outside of Bambi Larson’s San Jose home. Police say the man arrested for killing her is in the country illegally and has a long criminal history. @abc7newsbayarea pic.twitter.com/9uhRPXJ8JO
— Jobina Fortson (@JobinaFortson) March 13, 2019
DNA Match Leads to Arrest
Evidence against Carranza includes surveillance video that places the suspect at the scene of the crime.
“The home security cameras showed an unidentified male wearing a backpack, pants and a long-sleeve sweater or shirt as he approached and later left the victim’s residence,” Garcia said.
Video from neighbor of Bambi Larson, who was killed Feb. 28th at her San Jose home near Pearl and Branham.
Man was captured on surveillance cameras walking down Knollfield Way between 4:30am-5:30am.
24 year old transient arrested yesterday for murder. pic.twitter.com/Pr7p2cr08u
— Matt Keller (@MattKellerABC7) March 12, 2019
Detectives found a T-shirt containing the DNA of both the victim and the suspect. Larson’s phone and e-reader were also found in Carranza’s possession, Fox reported.
Police initially arrested Carranza on March 10 on charges of methamphetamine possession and took a DNA sample.
They released Carranza, however, due to lack of evidence linking him to the murder because DNA results from Larson’s case had not yet come back from the lab.
Garcia said when the results finally came in on Monday and a positive DNA match was made, police tracked Carranza down and took him into custody.
Carranza was booked into the Santa Clara County Jail for murder.
“The suspect, Carlos Eduardo Arevalo Carranza, stalked this San Jose neighborhood and his victim,” Garcia said at the press conference. “He is a San Jose transient … and is a self-admitted gang member.”
A Broken System
Speaking to the press, Garcia declined to name the gang Carranza is accused of being affiliated with but listed the suspect’s long criminal history.
“His criminal history convictions consist of in February 2013 he was detained by the Department of Homeland Security at the border near McAllen, Texas, and deported,” noted Garcia.
“In 2015, he was arrested for drug paraphernalia. In 2015 he was convicted of burglary in San Jose. In 2016, battery of an officer, resisting arrest, and entering a property. In 2016, he was arrested for battery in Los Angeles. In 2017, he was arrested and convicted of false imprisonment in San Jose. In April of 2018, arrested for paraphernalia again. In May, he was arrested for possession of methamphetamine,” he continued.
Garcia also said Carranza had six detainer requests from ICE.
ICE detainers are requests for law enforcement to hold people suspected of being in the country illegally for longer than their jail terms until they can be questioned by federal immigration authorities.
Garcia was critical of the sanctuary policies that kept Carranza from being handed over to immigration officials.
“The city of San Jose and our police department has no control over how the county interacts with federal immigration enforcement in the deportation of violent or serious felons like Carlos Arevalo Carranza,” he said. “When we have violent or serious offenders that are preying on our community we must have the ability to protect our residents. We will go to the ends of the earth to find a predator like this.”
Paul Kelly, president of the San Jose Police Officers Association, was cited by CBS SF as calling for changes to immigration policies.
“We have to change the laws that protect monsters like this suspect,” said Kelly. “If you have dreamers that are just trying to survive and make a better life for themselves, that’s not what we’re talking about here. We’re talking about changing the laws that protect criminals that will violently attack women.”
ICE Acting Field Office Director Erik Bonnar was cited by CBS SF as saying his agency had nearly a dozen detainer requests for Carranza that went unheeded.
“All nine known previously lodged detainers have been ignored and have allowed Arevalo-Carranza back onto our streets to reoffend,” Bonnar said.
“How many more people have to be killed or injured before California lawmakers will open discussions to revise the state policy prohibiting local law enforcement agencies from working with ICE to apprehend dangerous criminal aliens?” he asked.
“It’s unfortunate that our communities face dangerous consequences because of inflexible state laws that protect criminal aliens. These sanctuary policies have unintended, but very real, and often tragic consequences to public safety.”
— Jessica Rosenthal (@jessicafoxnews) March 13, 2019
Mayor Sam Liccardo criticized the Santa Clara County sanctuary policy in a statement.
“It is long overdue for the County to reconsider its current policy of ignoring ICE hold requests for predatory felons, which undermines the safety of the very immigrant communities we collectively seek to protect,” said Liccardo.
“The county’s policy has nothing to do with the City’s decades-long policy of declining to have police engage in federal immigration enforcement, which was implemented to protect public safety. In contrast, the current County policy of ignoring detainer requests for individuals arrested for strike offenses and convicted of multiple felonies undermines public safety, and violates common sense. I hope we can restart this conversation to make progress where we all agree: we can both keep our City safe from violent criminals and protect our law-abiding immigrant community.”
JUST IN: #SanJose Mayor statement on arrest of a homicide suspect in the murder of Bambi Larson. Carlos Eduardo Arevalo Carranza was arrested Monday. SJPD said he is an undocumented immigrant w/ a criminal history. SCC & LA released him from jail 6 times w/out notifying #ICE. pic.twitter.com/ugl0lNKsoa
— Grace Hase (@grace_hase) March 12, 2019