Police arrest 2nd suspect in 1980 murders - abc27 WHTM

Police arrest 2nd suspect in 1980 murders

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A Harrisburg man has been charged in a 32-year-old homicide case in Adams County.

State police in Gettysburg said they arrested 47-year-old Ruperto Garcia on Monday for the August 30, 1980 murders of Nancy Lee Patterson and her 17-year-old daughter Deborah.

Garcia is the second man charged in the killings since August, when U.S. Marshals arrested 55-year-old Erasmo "Junior" Cruz in Puerto Rico.

According to investigators, Deborah Patterson had ended a romantic relationship with Cruz shortly before he and three others went to the Patterson's home in Freedom Township and threw Molotov cocktails into the kitchen as they slept.

The Pattersons, a friend, and three children ran out of the home to escape the fire, but the masked men were waiting for them outside. Nancy Patterson was shot in the back and neck, and Deborah Patterson was shot in the mouth at close range, authorities said.

Cruz and Garcia are being held in the Adams County Prison without bail on two counts of criminal homicide, as well as charges of arson and burglary. Both have a preliminary hearing scheduled for March 28.

Police said a third suspect is currently in prison on unrelated charges, and a fourth person involved in the killings has since died.

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