Gun found in Phoenix canal may be linked to 2011 murder

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Jesus Blas Garcia By Jennifer Thomas Jesus Blas Garcia By Jennifer Thomas
The Phoenix Police Dive Team searched a canal near 19th Avenue and Hatcher Road. By Jennifer Thomas The Phoenix Police Dive Team searched a canal near 19th Avenue and Hatcher Road. By Jennifer Thomas

PHOENIX -- The Phoenix Police Dive Team searched a canal near 19th Avenue and Hatcher Road Tuesday, looking for evidence related to a murder last year.

Police developed information that a firearm used in the murder of Oswaldo Rodriguez, 25, may be in the canal, according to Phoenix police spokesman Officer James Holmes.

Rodriguez was killed during an armed robbery at the Yerberia San Simon store near Fifth Avenue and Hatcher Road on March 3, 2011.

Investigators said Rodriguez was shot in the head as he tried to stop the robbery at his uncle's store.

The two suspects fled in Rodriguez's truck, which was found two days later.

Police found a gun in the canal Tuesday morning, but they have not confirmed if it was the one used in Rodriguez's murder.

Holmes said Tuesday that a suspect is in custody. He has been identified as Jesus Blas Garcia, 38. He was already in prison on other convictions.

Police were able to link Garcia to the murder through DNA evidence left at the scene.