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APD: Man intentionally ran over 19-year-old girlfriend with car

Police investigate after they believe a woman was intentionally struck by a vehicle early Tuesday morning. (Dean Hanson/Albuquerque Journal)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Detectives are looking for a 39-year-old man who they say ran over his 19-year-old girlfriend early Tuesday morning and then drove her to the hospital, where she died.

Officer Simon Drobik, a spokesman for the Albuquerque Police Department, said they have issued an arrest warrant for Dominic Garcia. He is charged with murder and tampering with evidence in the death of Samantha Sandoval.

According to the arrest warrant affidavit filed in Metropolitan Court, officers were called to the area of Pennsylvania and Haines NE around 3:15 a.m. because a woman was screaming and there was possibly a car crash.

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By the time officers arrived, the victim and the offender had already left the scene.

But officers were told the woman, later identified as Sandoval, had been dropped off at Kaseman Presbyterian Hospital by two men. One of those men, later identified as Garcia, appeared to get upset and took off when he was questioned by security.

The other man, Caleb Elledge, eventually told police he owns a home in the 7700 block of Haines NE and rents out a room to Garcia, who he has known for two years. The house is a run-down, boarded-up stucco home in an otherwise tidy neighborhood.

“Mr. Elledge advised it is not uncommon for Ms. Sandoval and Dominic to fight with one another since they have been dating,” the detective wrote in the complaint.

He told detectives the couple had been in a loud verbal argument in the street Monday night and then the fight seemed to quiet down. Then, he said, Garcia banged on his window and screamed for help, saying “she jumped in front of my car.”

Elledge said he followed Garcia outside and saw Sandoval in the back of his car and she was wheezing and covered in blood, according to the complaint. He said Garcia was shaking, crying and also covered in blood. The two men put her in a SUV and drove her to the hospital.

Although Garcia said Sandoval had jumped in front of his car, a neighbor told police she saw him put his car in reverse and drive over her with both back and front tires.

Sandoval’s family members who gathered at the scene to look for answers Tuesday afternoon ended up telling several people at the house that Sandoval had died from her injuries. The news was met with shock and tears.

Garcia was not in custody as of Tuesday night.


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