The family of Vanessa Pham is speaking out for the first time since her alleged killer was arrested. The young woman was killed in 2010. It took more than two years to catch a suspect.
Since the arrest was made last Thursday, friends and family of Vanessa are relieved and grateful, and surprised considering there has not been a big break in the case in the two and a half years since the murder. Now they say the healing can begin.
"We can hopefully look forward to some justice being done versus not having any questions answered," says Tracy To, her cousin. She arrived in town from Dallas Wednesday night. Thursday she wrapped up a long meeting with Fairfax investigators.
"I just pray for our future and holding her memory and it's not so much about 'Oh, my gosh, what happened?'"
Pham was found dead inside her car in a ditch in Fairfax County June 2010, the victim of a horrific stabbing. After two and a half years and no suspects, police arrested Julio Blanco-Garcia at a home under construction in Vienna where he was working.
According to a search warrant, he had been arrested on a different, unspecified charge. His fingerprints were taken and they matched the prints found at the scene of Pham's murder.
Blanco-Garcia's attorney would only say, "We will not comment on the evidence except to say that no one should prejudge the facts based on leaks from unnamed sources, supposition or innuendo.""It was random," says To. "It really could have happened to anybody."
Pham's cousin says nothing will ever be the same for the family, but at least now there will be justice.
"The worst has happened, but my family has a little bit more closure," says To.
Fairfax County Police and the Commonwealth Attorney's Office would not comment. They say they're going to let the legal process play out. Blanco-Garcia's next court hearing is scheduled for February 13.