LRPD: Focus on parking lot, witness in UALR student murder

Someone saw UALR student Patricia Guardado get into a vehicle in a parking lot before she disappeared and Little Rock police need that person to step forward.
LITTLE ROCK, AR - Little Rock police say someone saw UALR student Patricia Guardado get into a vehicle in a parking lot before she disappeared and it needs that person to step forward.

Guardado's family spoke with FOX16 about the latest developments in the investigation.

LRPD homicide detectives say they've amassed a tremendous amount of leads into the disappearance and murder of Patricia Guardado. But Friday, for the first time, they're asking for a little more help.

Detectives say the murder investigation now centers on a parking lot off 32nd Street and University, where Guardado’s abandoned car was located the day she disappeared.

"We know there were people on that lot. We know they saw something," Lt. Terry Hastings says.

The lot now features signs warning UALR students the lot is not monitored, park at your own risk.

Guardado's mother Leonor Garcia says she wishes those signs were in place before her daughter's murder. Through her translator and friend Veronica Buchanan, she talks about the pain of the last four months.

"At night she doesn't sleep but her faith is too big and they're going to find it, they're going to find whoever did this," she says.

Her disappearance gripped the UALR student body in October. Vigils were held hoping to bring her home. Those hopes were dashed when detectives discovered Guardado's body in a south Pulaski County pond in Sweet Home, just four days after she vanished.

Garcia helps run a family owned grocery store in North Little Rock off Camp Robinson Road. An eight foot high banner hangs in the front window, a $10,000 reward poster for information leading to an arrest in Guardado’s killing.

Her mother believes someone has the answer. LRPD agrees.

"We're probably one witness away," Hastings says.

Everyone involved now believes the answer will come from the parking lot across the street from UALR.

Police won't say what type of suspect list they've put together. But Garcia said Friday the family now firmly believes her abductor was likely someone within the central Arkansas Hispanic community, possibly someone she knew.
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