Juan Garcia who is wanted in connection with an Escondido murder. Courtesy San Diego Sheriff
Juan Garcia who is wanted in connection with an Escondido murder. Courtesy San Diego Sheriff

Updated at 7 p.m. Dec. 7, 2015

Authorities asked the public Monday to be on the lookout for a Mexican national suspected of fatally shooting his estranged wife at a North County home over the weekend.

Juan Garcia, 50, who also sometimes uses the names Jose Luis Paredes or Jose Moreno, allegedly killed 46-year-old Teresa Ortiz in the 3000 block of North Broadway in unincorporated Escondido shortly before 5:30 p.m. Saturday.

Garcia’s faded red Ford Explorer was later found abandoned several miles from the scene of the slaying, sheriff’s Lt. Kenn Nelson said. On Sunday, he said, the suspect was spotted driving a stolen silver 2003 Ford Taurus SE, California license number 7NNJ796. The car had gone missing at a driving range on North Centre City Parkway.

Investigators believe that the fugitive, a longtime Escondido resident, may have decided to flee to his native country.

Garcia is a roughly 5-foot-8-inch, 170-pound Latino with brown eyes and shoulder-length curly black hair. He has a small tattoo on the outside web of his right hand. At the time of the shooting, he was wearing blue denim shorts, a blue long-sleeve shirt, white tennis shoes and long white socks.

Officials advised the public that Garcia may be carrying a pistol and should be considered dangerous.

Anyone with information on the suspect’s whereabouts was asked to call San Diego County Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477 or contact the agency online at sdcrimestoppers.org. Tipsters may remain anonymous and could be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.

—City News Service