Grand jury indicts suspect in Janaya Thompson murder - - The News for South Mississippi


Grand jury indicts suspect in Janaya Thompson murder

Alberto Garcia (Photo source: Harrison County Sheriff's Department) Alberto Garcia (Photo source: Harrison County Sheriff's Department)
Janaya Thompson Janaya Thompson

Alberto Garcia, a suspect in the murder of 5-year-old Janaya Thompson, was indicted for capital murder by a Harrison County Grand Jury on Monday.

District Attorney Joel Smith said evidence collected by the Gulfport Police Department and FBI during a lengthy and thorough investigation was presented to the grand jury.

Harrison County District Attorney Joel Smith couldn't talk about the specifics of the case, but did say it took more than 14 months to present the case to the grand jury. That's because the DA’s investigative team was waiting for technicians at the state crime lab to complete their forensic evidence analysis.

The district attorney talked with Janaya’s family prior to releasing the grand jury indictment.  

"We met with the family last week," Smith said, "and we are pleased, just as they are, that the case is moving forward through the court system."

The district attorney expects Garcia to appear in court by early November. 

While Garcia was indicted, another person of interest in the case, Julian Gray, was not indicted. Gray was an associate of Garcia’s, who also lived in the same apartment complex. During the investigation, Gray became a suspect in several other unrelated sex crimes, for which he was ultimately charged. Because of the nature of those crimes, and his proximity to the investigation, he was considered a person of interest.

Investigators say Gray still faces other charges, which will be considered by the Grand Jury. Because of that, both the Gulfport police and the District Attorney have said they won't be making any further statements about Gray.

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