Man killed in unsolved shooting was case of mistaken identity

By Daniela Sternitzky-Di Napoli - Digital News Editor

HOUSTON - Crime Stoppers and the Pasadena Police Department held a news conference Thursday in an effort to uncover new leads or tips in an unsolved homicide from 2018.

Officers asked for the public’s help finding Oscar Garcia in connection with the death of 37-year-old Nicolas Bautista. 

"My life... our life as a family will never be the same. There will always be somebody missing," Delia Bautista, the victim's mother, said.

Bautista was found around 1 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 28, 2018, lying on the sidewalk in front of a home near Wafer Street in Pasadena.

Authorities said he was transported to a hospital, where he later died from a single gunshot wound to the upper back.

Witnesses told police Bautista was outside his home when a bearded Hispanic man wearing dark pants, a gray T-shirt and a baseball cap, who is believed to be Garcia, got out of a black and tan, four-door Ford F-150 truck armed with a shotgun.

VIDEO: Crime Stoppers asks for public's help in shooting

"This man took my child. I'm asking please somebody knows something," Nicolas Bautista Sr., the victim's father, said.

According to police, Bautista’s death was a case of mistaken identity and Garica and Bautista did not and would not have known each other based on information uncovered in the investigation.

Bautista’s wife, Elizabeth Patlan, said she and Bautista had taken an Uber home. 

Patlan said Garcia had been following the couple, and when they arrived, Garcia got out of his truck and confronted Bautista with accusations that he had stolen from him. 

Bautista, who did not speak much Spanish, did not understand what Garcia was accusing him of, so Patlan said she stepped in and told Garcia he was mistaken. 

According to Patlan, Garcia did not believe her and shot at Bautista.

Officers said Garcia then fled the scene and abandoned his pickup truck, which was later recovered by police.

"I'm pleading with the public to please help get this information out," Delia Bautista said.

Police released a photo Garcia and the truck the day after the murder and were able to confirm Garcia’s identity after speaking to his wife.

According to police, Garcia took a bus to McAllen in November and that is his last known location. Garcia does have a sister in California, but authorities said they do not believe he is there.

Garcia is charged with murder. Crime Stoppers is offering up to $10,000 for any information that leads to his arrest. 

Anyone with information is being asked to call Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS.

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