A man suspected of raping and killing two women in Lincoln Heights and dumping their bodies by area freeways six years ago has been arrested, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.
In the Los Angeles case, police used saliva to tie Geovanni Borjas to the rapes and murders of two Lincoln Heights women, Michelle Lozano, 17, and Bree’Anna Guzman, 22, in 2011.
Prior to his arrest, Borjas’ DNA was not on file. Investigators only found him because a search for possible relatives generated a match with his father, who had a prior arrest, Beck said.
Geovanni Borjas, 32, was arrested on suspicion of murder on Thursday by the LAPD.
He has been charged with two counts of murder, two counts of rape and one count of kidnapping. At his arraignment Tuesday, he pleaded not guilty and was ordered held without bail.
Borjas, of Torrance, stands accused of killing Michelle Lozano and 22 Bree’Anna Guzman.
At a news conference Tuesday afternoon, Police Chief Charlie Beck said investigators used familial DNA to track down Borjas.
Lozano’s body was found April 26, 2011, near the southbound 5 Freeway at State Street and Cesar Chavez Avenue in Boyle Heights. A homeless person called police after finding the girl’s nude body in a broken container in the brush.
17-year-old Michelle Lozano was found dead Tuesday, April 26, 2011. ME determined she was strangled
Investigators determined that Lozano’s body had been wrapped in plastic bags and stuffed in the plastic container. Afterward, the container was dumped over a concrete barrier along the freeway. When it hit the ground, the container broke open and spilled Lozano’s body into the shrubs.
Guzman vanished the day after Christmas 2011. Her body was found a month later on the a Freeway ramp according to the LAPD.
Guzman, known as Bree, told family members she was going to buy cold medicine. She left her home in the 2300 block of Humboldt Street in Lincoln Heights about 7:30 p.m. Dec. 26 but never returned.
Bree’Anna Guzman, 22, who vanished on Dec 26 2011, was found dead Wednesday, Jan. 25 2012
On Tuesday, the Guzman family expressed gratitude to the LAPD for its efforts. They said Borjas’ name and face were not familiar to them.
“All I wanted was to find somebody who hurt her,” said the victim’s mother, Darlene Guzman. “And we’re there. We’re there. I’m so happy. I’m overwhelmed with happiness. I mean, we’ll never get her back, but he’s arrested. He’s arrested, and he won’t hurt anybody. I won’t know why, I’ll never know why, but we’re that much closer to closure.”
In 2014, LAPD investigators said they determined the killings were related and announced two $50,000 rewards for information leading to an arrest.
Investigators think Borjas knew the victims. Booking records listed Borjas’ occupation as a “medical biller” and said he lived in Torrance. However, public records show that Borjas previously lived in the Lincoln Heights neighborhood.
A testament to his volatile character is a 2014 charge where a judge granted Borjas’ ex-girlfriend a three-year domestic violence restraining order against him. The woman alleged in court documents that the 6-foot-1, 265-pound Borjas was physically abusive to her throughout their two-and-a-half year relationship and that he had broken her nose, choked her and pushed her down the stairs, among other acts.
The restraining order prohibits Borjas from coming within 100 yards of the woman, her home or workplace.
During Borjas’ arraignment Tuesday, defense attorney Aaron Spolin requested that Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mark Hanasono set bail, saying his client has a fiance and is a father. Hanasono refused to set bail, however, saying it was for the protection of the public.