Palmetto Police searching for suspect in 7-year-old cold-case murder

Palmetto Police searching for suspect in 7-year-old cold-case murder
Cold-case murder suspect identified in Palmetto. (Source: WWSB)

PALMETTO, Fla. (WWSB) - Seven years later, the family of Javare Thomas might finally get some closure. Palmetto Police believe they know who is responsible for the death of the 26-year-old.

“Sometimes it’s just a matter of talking to the right people, people finally coming forward and people talking about what they know,” said Chief Scott Tyler with the Palmetto Police Department.

Palmetto Police say 28-year-old Ricardo Garcia shot and killed Thomas in March of 2014 on Haben Boulevard not far from the Bradenton Area Convention Center. Police say Garcia had been in a fight at The Hall nightclub in Palmetto earlier. He thought he had pulled up to the car that had the person he fought in it. It turns out, that person was in another vehicle.

“From the get-go, we had an idea about how it happened and we collected quite a bit of evidence,” said Tyler. “At the beginning, it was just a question of the detectives not giving up on it, we had enough to make an arrest, we have an arrest warrant.”

For some people we talked with near the scene of the shooting, they say having someone like Garcia on the run for seven years is nerve-wracking.

“It’s kind of scary to feel they are still out there but thank God they might know who it might be now,” said Victoria Woody, a woman whose mother lives nearby.

Police are hoping Garcia turns himself in, but the manhunt for him continues. If you have any information, you are asked to call the Palmetto Police Department at 941-721-2000 or the Manatee Crime Stoppers at 866-634-TIPS. A reward of up to $6,000 is being offered.

Copyright 2021 WWSB. All rights reserved.