AURORA, Colo. (CBS4) – Police in Aurora are trying to determine if a body found in neighborhood bushes belongs to a woman was believed to be kidnapped last weekend.
The body was found near Peoria and Montview in Aurora next to the home where friends say Bertha Garcia went missing.
Garcia, 23, vanished from the 1900 block of Paris Street early Sunday morning. Police thought she may have been kidnapped by her ex-boyfriend, German Medina, 32.
Police surrounded Medina’s apartment on Tuesday afternoon and made it part of an active crime investigation.
Police said an autopsy was scheduled for Tuesday at 1 p.m. for the body. They were hoping to release an identity later in the day but it was pushed back to at least Wednesday.
Police are not officially connecting the body to Garcia, but the circumstances are leading people in the neighborhood to make the connection.
Garcia’s family and friends were seen hugging each other outside her home where a woman’s body dressed in similar clothing was found in the bushes next door.
“Definitely shocking, it’s horrible, and then in front of our house,” neighbor Alejandro Saucedo said.
Prior to finding the body police had been in the area searching for Garcia. Detectives said Medina is a possible kidnapping suspect. Medina’s neighbors said they’re not surprised, even saying he often acted strange by lingering outside his apartment.
“I’ve seen him drunk a lot of times, stumbling. He always carried a knife on his side; like a Rambo knife,” neighbor Harold Antigo said.
Neighbors said Medina lives in the apartment with his brother. Police said the brother told them that on Saturday night Medina asked to borrow his gun and car. The brother lent him a black Lexis.
“The brother lent Medina his car but did not give him a gun. Around this same time, Garcia was with a friend in the 1900 block of Paris Street,” police said in a statement.
Police said at about 12:15 a.m. Garcia walked her friend out to his car and the friend drove away.
“As the friend was leaving he saw a Hispanic male approach Garcia as she was walking back towards her house. A short time later, Garcia was reported as missing and has not been seen since,” police said.
Neighbors said police have been questioning Medina’s brother and hauled away a car.
“They came and brought a flatbed. They took the white car I believe was the brother’s and confiscated the vehicle,” Antigo said.
Police said Medina has been in the states for many years. Neighbors said he told them he was from Los Angeles, but police said he’s from Mexico and they are afraid he’s heading back there where he still has family.
Medina was last seen wearing a black leather coat. He is 5-foot-8 and 140 pounds with black hair, brown eyes, and a thin beard. He was driving a black 1997 Lexus two-door with Colorado license plate 339-WDJ.
Anyone who knows the whereabouts of Medina or the car or has more information is asked to call Detective Tom Sobieski at (303) 739-6710 or 911. Remain anonymous by calling Crime Stoppers at (720) 913-STOP (7867). You may be eligible to earn a reward of up to $2,000.