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Published on July 18th, 2013 | by Daniel Perlman

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Doctor accused of revenge killings, including boy

A doctor who has practiced in Chicago is being held in a downstate jail, accused of the revenge killings of four people in Omaha, Neb., including the 11-year-old son of a doctor who got him fired from a residency program.

Dr. Anthony Joseph Garcia, 40, was pulled over by Illinois state police near downstate Jonesboro early Monday after authorities had been tracking him as a suspect in the slayings. He was arrested without incident, but police said he had a .45-caliber handgun on him and was drunk.

He appeared in court this morning on a warrant charging him with four counts of first-degree murder and use of a weapon to commit the murders. But the hearing was postponed until Wednesday morning because Garcia did not have an attorney with him.

Garcia is accused of killing Dr. Roger Brumback and his wife, Mary Brumback, both 65, in May, as well as the 2008 killings of Thomas Hunter, the 11-year-old son of another doctor, and Shirlee Sherman, 57, the Hunter family housekeeper, police said.

Garcia was a pathology resident at Creighton University from July 2000 to June 2001 and was fired by Brumback and Dr. William Hunter, Thomas Hunter’s father, “for a form of erratic behavior,” Omaha Police Chief Todd Schmaderer said. Police do not believe Thomas Hunter and the housekeeper were the intended targets of the 2008 attack.

Schmaderer said Garcia had not lived in Omaha since 2001 but police have evidence that suggested he had visited the state at the time of the killings in 2008 and again in May.

“At this point in our investigation, we are led to believe that he committed these murders alone and we are investigating the history of Dr. Garcia,” Schmaderer said.

“He does fit the elements of a serial killer, yes,” Schmaderer told a news conference in answer to a question. He did not elaborate.

A task force of local, state and federal law enforcement officials was set up in May to investigate the cases and determine if they were connected. Police believed early on after the May killings that there was a connection, Schmaderer said.

Police planned to execute a search warrant at Garcia’s home in Terre Haute, Ind. on Tuesday, Schmaderer said. Search warrants were also being served around the country by task force members at places where Garcia may have worked, lived or where someone had a connection with him, he said.

Garcia had worked for several years in Chicago after leaving Omaha, but it was not known if search warrants were being served here.

Schmaderer said the task force had been monitoring Garcia’s movements for some time and decided to make the arrest because he was on the move. Garcia did not appear to be aware he was being monitored, he said.

Brumback had just announced his retirement from Creighton and had been due to move to West Virginia in June, according to the university. He was known for his work on Alzheimer’s disease and had written many articles and books.

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Source: chicagotribune.com “Doctor accused of revenge killings, including boy ,” July 18, 2013.

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