Arrest made in recycling bin death case

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) - An arrest has been made in the death of a man whose body was found in one of the city's blue recycling bins.

Police took 50-year-old Peter Garcia into custody early Friday morning in connection with the homicide of Efren Ramon Estrada.

"Through the course of the investigation, his name came up as an acquaintance or friend of the victim," said police Sgt. Joe Grubbs. "More information was gathered that led us ultimately to his arrest."

Estrada's body was found in a recycling bin Sunday morning in the 1600 block of Wilson Road in south Bakersfield.

Also Friday, the Kern County coroner's office said Estrada died of strangulation.

Estrada's brother, Jose Moreno, said he was shocked to hear that Garcia could be behind his brother's death.

"They were friends," said Moreno. "I mean, whatever my brother did, he didn't deserve to die like that. Nobody does."

He said Garcia even came over to the family's home after "hearing" of Estrada's death.

"He even came over here to tell my mom sorry for what happened," the brother said.

Police SWAT officers served search warrants to two homes Thursday near the area where Estrada's body was found - one search warrant in the 1400 block of Wilson Road, the other in the 1500 block of Wilson.

Garcia lived in the home on the 1500 block of Wilson.

Police said two other people were being questioned but have been released. No other arrests are expected at this time.

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