GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A man wanted for the murder of a Grand Rapids-area woman was arrested in central Mexico, north of Mexico City, earlier this week, police say.
Yenly Garcia, 44, was wanted by Wyoming police for open murder and felony firearm in the murder of Mollie Schmidt. He is awaiting extradition back to Michigan.
Schmidt was reported missing on Aug. 21. As they asked for the public’s help finding her, investigators said they believed she may have been with Garcia. After multiple attempts to contact Garcia, the Kent County Sheriff’s Office and Wyoming police searched his home on 44th Street in Wyoming on Aug. 30 and found Schmidt’s body. She had been shot in the head, court documents show.
According to a probable cause affidavit, deputies got information for the phones of those involved. They learned that Schmidt had had contact with Garcia on Aug. 20 at 8:45 p.m. Her phone had pinged off a cell tower near his apartment around 10:20 p.m. and then powered off. His phone was off before she arrived.
On Aug. 21, Garcia’s phone was active near the Ambassador Bridge in Detroit before it was powered off, the affidavit said. Agents said he was by himself at the time. He was later seen heading southwest toward Texas but on Aug. 25 was seen on an ATM video attempting to use Schmidt’s debit card at her bank in the city of Wyoming, the document said. Police went on to say Garcia later attempted to use her debit card in southern Michigan before heading toward Texas.
Schmidt was dead by that time, the medical examiner said.
In a phone conversation with family, the affidavit said, Garcia implied he was involved in Schmidt’s death.
“If I killed her or not, who cares, that’s my problem,” he told family, the affidavit said.
Michigan State Police records show Garcia has a criminal history dating back to 2004 that includes convictions for drugs, domestic violence, larceny and retail fraud. In a 2008 case out of Grand Rapids, he was initially charged with kidnapping and pleaded down to unlawful imprisonment. He was also convicted of assault with a dangerous weapon in that case.
Anyone with information is being asked to call the Wyoming Department of Public Safety at 616.530.7300 or Silent Observer at 616.774.2345.