Overview of Tyra Garcia
Tyra Garcia was only 15 years old when she vanished from her Ventura, California, home. She was a freshman at Buena High School. Tyra was living with her mother, sisters, and four brothers. Tyra was outgoing, sweet, and deeply loved by her friends and family.
There is limited media coverage on Tyra's case dating back to her disappearance. Thankfully, the "No Activity" podcast reviews Tyra's case in depth, with interviews with family and friends.
The night Tyra went missing.
Tyra had spent the day with her family at her sister’s home for Memorial Day weekend. They returned back to their apartment around 10 PM on May 27, 1985. She had called a friend, and they spoke for approximately thirty minutes. After that, Tyra walked to one of her friend’s apartments nearby.
Later that evening, Tyra attended a party at the “Loops” Motel. The party was attended by over 70 people and took place throughout multiple different hotel rooms with drugs and alcohol. Currently, the “Loops” Motel is no longer in business.
While at the party, Tyra was spotted talking to two men. Later that night, Tyra was spotted at a 7-Eleven on Bristol Road with these same men. It is believed that she left with them.
When Tyra’s mother, Margaret reported her missing, the authorities told her to wait 48 hours before filing a report. Tyra had a history of running away and attendance issues at school. Additionally, Tyra was known
There was very little evidence collection in Tyra’s case. Therefore, authorities do not know if she consumed any drugs or alcohol before her death. Sadly, there has been a lot of speculation that Tyra died of a drug overdose, but no toxicology tests were ever conducted.
While authorities believe Tyra’s homicide is the result of foul play. According to a Ventura County Star Free Press article, police did not rule out the possibility that “the teenager’s death was accidental and that her body was abandoned by panic-stricken acquaintances”.
Tyra’s body is found.
Over a week later, an unidentified body is found in an orange grove. The body was discovered on the side of a cliff from Stockton Road. The body was wrapped in a blanket and was bound. The body was so badly decomposed authorities were unsure if the victim was male or female. Authorities believed that this individual was deceased between 2 weeks and a month before being found by two farm workers.
After learning of an unidentified body found in an orange orchard, Tyra’s mother, Margaret reached out to the coroner’s office. At this point in the case, the family felt that the local authorities were not taking Tyra’s case seriously. Margaret was able to identify her daughter from the jewelry items found on Tyra.
The death certificate.
The family wanted to have a funeral for Tyra but needed financial assistance. When the family reached out to local organizations, they needed to provide the death certificate. The family was denied because the manner of death on her death certificate was listed as suicide.
Interestingly, both the medical examiner and autopsy report have always ruled Tyra’s death as a homicide. However, due to a clerical error in another office, her case was labeled as a suicide. In order for this clerical error to be corrected, the medical examiner had to help correct the mistake. But this mistake could not be corrected until the family got an outside advocate to facilitate. As a result of this, the police wanted to close the case within 3 days.
With the help of an advocate, the family was able to correct Tyra’s death certificate from suicide to homicide. To this day, no one has been able to locate Tyra’s original death certificate.
Where the case stands today.
In Fall 2021, Tyra’s sister, Tanya was able to reopen her sister’s homicide case. The family has released a suspect sketch from the case file in hopes that someone recognizes the individual.
The suspect is described as a male with a dark complexion (possibly Mexican), standing at 5'3-5'4", heavy set, "chunky" dark hair, a white t-shirt, and beige khaki pants. This individual had acne scars on his face and would be approximately 55–65 years old today. This individual drove a cream or beige 76-80 Monte Carlo or Buick Regal with a tan interior (interior light operable) in 'clean' condition.
The passenger description is described as a male, Mexican, early 20s, approximately 180 pounds and standing 5'8"-5'9". It is believed this individual is approximately 58 years old today.
If you have any information, please contact the Ventura County Sheriff’s Major Crimes Unit at: (805) 383-8704