After Arrest, Questions Around Vanessa Pham's Death Remain
Fairfax County Police arrested a suspect Thursday but aren't ready to disclose more details.
For two and a half years, family and friends of Vanessa Pham have waited for an answer as to why the 19-year-old artist and aspiring fashion designer was found dead in her car in a ditch off Route 50 — the trauma to her upper body not consistent with the injuries she would have suffered in a car crash.
On Thursday, they got the first break they've had since her death in June 2010, as Fairfax County Police announced the arrest of a suspect in connection with her murder.
But the answers aren't coming quite yet.
Acting Chief Lt. Col. James A. Morris told media gathered at police headquarters Thursday new forensic evidence led to the arrest of Julio Miguel Blanco-Garcia, 27, who police apprehended at a construction site at the intersection of Glyndon and Locust Streets SE, where he worked.
But Morris was unwilling to talk about the nature of the evidence other than to note it surfaced this week.
He also said it didn't appear Pham and Blanco-Garcia knew each other, which raises several questions to which there aren't clear answers: How did Blanco-Garcia and Pham allegedly cross paths? What happened when Pham left the Fairfax Plaza Shopping Center around 3 p.m.— the last time she was seen — on the day of her death? How did the evidence remain uncovered until 2012?
Morris told media the case is still too new to comment on any of the circumstances surrounding Pham's death.
Still, Thursday left many of those still missing her feeling as if "finally some of our questions have been (or soon will be) answered," they wrote on the page for the Vanessa Pham Memorial Scholarship Fund on Facebook.
"We all love and miss you Vanessa," a message posted late Thursday read.
This article has been updated to reflect Pham's last sighting was at the Fairfax Plaza Shopping Center.