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Omaha police say persistent research led to arrest of murder suspect

  |   July 18, 2013 at 3:29 PM
OMAHA, July 18 (UPI) -- Omaha police said it was dogged police work, and the tracing of a gun's history, that led to the arrest of a doctor charged in four killings.

After Thomas Hunter, 11, and house cleaner Shirlee Sherman, 57, were killed in 2008, and Dr. Roger Brumback, 40, and his wife Mary killed in 2013, police noted the similarities in their deaths, each a knife wound to the neck. Chief Todd Schmaderer said the deaths have "elements of a serial killer."

Brumback was the sole victim who was also shot, multiple times, and police recovered broken pieces of the suspected weapon at the crime scene, traced its history, and Monday arrested Dr. Anthony Garcia for the homicides, the Omaha World-Herald reported Thursday.

In an affidavit, police described Garcia as a doctor who had a grudge over a 2001 firing for unprofessional conduct. In researching Garcia's past police noted Garcia was fired in 2001 by Brumback and Dr. William Hunter, Thomas Hunter's father and employer of Sherman.

Brumback and Hunter dismissed Garcia, then a Creighton University medical school resident, for allegedly hounding another resident while that resident was preparing for a critical examination.

The dismissal haunted Garcia, who was unable to obtain work, medical licenses and residencies, and at one point declared bankruptcy, the newspaper said.

As potential employers checked on Garcia, "Dr. Hunter or Dr. Brumback responded to each request by documenting Dr. Garcia ... [who] was terminated in June of 2011," the affidavit reads.

Among other research, police traced the gun's purchase to Garcia at a Terre Haute, Ill., sporting goods store in May 2013.

Monday a police task force, with Illinois state police, arrested Garcia in Jonesboro, Ill.

"I can tell you this; there was no big tip that came to us," said Chief Schmaderer. "It was just sheer police work. We poured through file after file."

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