Detectives from the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office, State Police and the NYPD cracked a 35-year-old cold-case murder with the arrest of a Manhattan man accused of killing a Venezuelan national.
David Garrido, 66, is charged with murder in the June 1985 slaying of 27-year-old Ricardo Brown, whose body was found dumped in the marshes in the Meadowlands.
Brown had been shot in the head and strangled, Bergen County Prosecutor Mark Musella said Thursday.
His body had been “wrapped in sheets of plastic inside a wicker steamer trunk stuffed into a storage trunk,” the prosecutor said.
It was found on June 25, 1985 near Madison Circle Drive in East Rutherford after someone headed to work smelled a stench coming from it, investigators said at the time.
Brown, who’d been living in New York City, had been dead about a month, they said. His common-law wife had reported him missing nearly two weeks before the body was found.
Investigators identified him by matching his fingerprints with those on his passport.
It turned out Garrido, who lives in Hell’s Kitchen, had bought drugs from Brown, Musella said.
“During the initial investigation, Garrido was developed as a person of interest,” the prosecutor said. “On July 8, 1985, a search warrant was executed on Garrido’s residence, which resulted in the recovery of items of evidence.”
No arrest was made, however.
During the past year, members of the North Jersey Regional Cold Case Task Force renewed the investigation with assistance from the NYPD Cold Case Unit, the prosecutor said.
They found that Brown “was involved in the illegal distribution of narcotics and Garrido was a customer,” Musella said.
Shortly before Brown’s reported disappearance, Garrido shot him and dumped the body, he said.
Task force detectives served Garrido with an arrest warrant on Wednesday at the midtown north precinct in Manhattan.
Garrido remained jailed pending extradition to Bergen County.
The specialized North Jersey Regional Cold Case Task Force that nabbed him is a collaboration between the prosecutor’s office and New Jersey State Police. It consists of a detective sergeant from the prosecutor’s office, an on-loan detective from the New Jersey State Police Major Crimes Unit and a county senior assistant prosecutor dedicated to its cases.
ALSO SEE: Authorities are investigating the discovery of human remains, including part of a skull, in the front yard of a Bergen County home.
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