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UPDATED: Arrest Made in Vanessa Pham Murder

Fairfax County Police arrest Julio Miguel Blanco-Garcia, 27, in 2010 murder of Madison High student.

UPDATE (8:36 p.m.) Acting Chief Lt. Col. James A. Morris said tonight that today's arrest in the Vanessa Pham murder case was a result of forensic evidence discovered within the last week. He refused to clarify the nature of the evidence or what may have happened to Pham on the day she was killed, saying that the case it still too new to comment.

Media gathered at 8 p.m. at the Massey Building in Fairfax City to hear details about the arrest. 

Fairfax County Police and U.S. Marshals arrested Blanco-Garcia without incident at a Vienna construction site where he worked. The arrest came after police discovered forensic evidence linking Blanco-Garcia to Pham's murder.

Morris praised the detectives who spent years on this case and the community for rallying around and contributing to the investigation.

Check Patch for more information as it becomes available.

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Nearly two-and-a-half years after Vanessa Pham was found dead inside a two-door car near Arlington Boulevard and Williams Drive, authorities say they've arrested a suspect in the case.

Fairfax Police said Thursday night Julio Miguel Blanco-Garcia, 27, was  arrested and charged with Pham's murder.

In a news release, police said Garcia was arrested "at a house under construction in the Town of Vienna near the intersection of Glyndon Street S.E. and Locust Street S.E. shortly after noon."

They said "Fairfax County Homicide Detectives were able to link Garcia to this this homicide through analysis of forensic evidence."

Pham, a Madison High School student who had just finished her freshman year at the Savannah College of Art and Design, was visiting a business in the Fairfax Plaza Shopping Center off Gallows Road around 3 p.m. on June 27, 2010. Surveillance videos from the shopping center showed her leaving the shopping center in a 2008 Toyota.

Thirty minutes later, police responded to a report of a crash near Arlington Boulevard and Williams Drive. They found Pham, a Falls Church resident, dead inside her white two-door car, with trauma to her upper body that was not consistent with the injuries she would have suffered in a car crash.

As friends mourned, dedicating a bench on the Vienna Town Green in her honor and creating "art remembrance days" to capture her creative spirit, police asked the public time and again for clues, for many months without success.

They along with photos of the car Pham was driving when she was killed. 

Crime Solvers offered a $1,000 reward for information, and in addition, a private cash reward of $20,000 was also offered for information leading to an arrest in the case.

This story has been updated.

Patch will update this story as more information becomes available.

Past coverage:

Police Still Looking for Suspect in Pham Murder Case

Strange Incident at Fairfax Plaza Connected to Pham Murder?

Editor's Pick: Top 10 Stories of 2010

Bench Dedicated in Murder Victim’s Honor


Kathy December 14, 2012 at 02:28 AM
I'm so happy some progress has been made on this and glad our police force continued on this case. I hope that this is truly the person who took this beautiful young woman's life and that a conviction will bring some closure for her family and friends.
Laura Frye December 14, 2012 at 06:54 PM
Does anyone know where in Vienna the suspect was arrested?
Erica R. Hendry December 14, 2012 at 07:37 PM
Laura, near the intersection of Glyndon and Locust. Erica
Jennifer Goetz December 17, 2012 at 11:54 AM
When this story was printed, the murderer was known to be in the country illegally. Why was this information intentionally omitted?
Erica R. Hendry December 17, 2012 at 02:41 PM
Hi Jennifer, On Friday, some stations started to report the suspect was not a legal citizen, but especially in high-profile cases like this, we always confirm directly with the agency/officials who have the information -- not with other media outlets. We were not able to confirm his status until after hours Friday, but we talked directly with the people from ICE. Once something is reported, you can't take it "back". When we can't be both right and first, we'll always choose getting it right. Thanks for reading, Erica

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