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Author Topic: Laura Garza, 25, of Bay Ridge, Brooklyn Missing 12/3/08 NY (REMAINS FOUND)  (Read 66520 times)
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« on: December 06, 2008, 09:56:11 AM »

CLUB GAL MISSING
LEFT CHELSEA HOTSPOT WITH TWO GUYS


NY POST LINK

http://www.nypost.com/seven/12062008/news/regionalnews/club_gal_missing_142935.htm

A stunning young Brooklyn woman vanished from a posh Manhattan nightclub this week - and cops fear she may have been harmed by a convicted sex offender, officials said yesterday.

Laura Garza, 25, of Bay Ridge, was reported missing yesterday after last being seen leaving the celeb-studded club Marquee at 4 a.m. Wednesday with two men.

"We suspect foul play and are concerned for her safety," NYPD spokesman Paul Browne said yesterday.

Police last night were questioning one of the two men, a 25-year-old once convicted of a sex crime, after going to his home in Wallkill, in upstate Orange County.

Investigators did not find Garza at the house, but they found a piece of carpet mysteriously cut out from its place on the floor, a police source said. Blood stains were also found in the house.

Faced with this clue, cops were seeking a search warrant to comb his home, sources said. They also were looking for his car.

Garza and a pal went to the trendy 10th Avenue hotspot - where the likes of Kate Hudson, Derek Jeter, Paris Hilton and Janet Jackson have been spotted partying in the past - for an evening of fun.

She was spotted by club-goers apparently having a good time, dancing and making out with a man.

At some point, Garza split up from her friend and was captured on video leaving the location with her dancing partner and another man.

She appeared to have left with them willingly, and didn't look intoxicated, police sources said.

Sources said the men drove with her upstate. At some point, one got out and went home.

Garza, a native of Mexico who moved to the city from Texas six months ago, and works in a shoe store, never returned home to Bay Ridge and was reported missing yesterday by a roommate.

Police armed with dogs walked through the club yesterday afternoon sniffing for clues of the 5-foot-2, 120-pound beauty.

Witnesses at the club told cops that the men with whom Garza was spotted leaving were "regulars," and were able to identify them. This led cops to the upstate home of the sex offender, sources said.

Investigators believe that whatever happened to Garza occurred upstate, and the New York State Police are now leading the investigation.

Garza's family was traveling here from Texas as the search for the woman continued, police sources said.

Additional reporting by Melissa Jane Kronfeld, Tim Perone and Christina Carrega
« Last Edit: December 15, 2009, 04:38:24 PM by Nut44x4 » Logged
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« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2008, 09:59:25 AM »

Brooklyn woman parties with stranger, vanishes after leaving Chelsea club
BY ALISON GENDAR and JOTHAM SEDERSTROM
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITERS

Saturday, December 6th 2008, 4:40 AM



A stunning Brooklyn woman disappeared during a late night of partying and is feared dead after a stranger lured her away from an infamous Manhattan nightclub.

Curly-haired beauty Laura Garza, 25, was last seen leaving the Tenth Ave. club Marquee around 4 a.m. on Wednesday with Michael Mele, the 23-year-old registered sex offender she met there, police and law enforcement source said.

Mele, the son of retired MTA Assistant Deputy Police Chief William Mele, turned himself in to state police in Newburgh Friday afternoon, sources said. His father and a lawyer accompanied him.

Police have not found Garza's remains, but have physical evidence that leads them to believe she was murdered.

"We are concerned for her safety," said Deputy Police Commissioner Paul Browne. "We are questioning an individual about her disappearance."

Mele, on six years of probation for a conviction of forcible touching, was being held Friday night on a probation violation, sources said. He has not been charged with any crime.

Video surveillance at the club shows Garza dancing, flirting and talking with Mele for more than 45 minutes before leaving with him in the wee hours of the morning, a source who saw the tape said Friday.

"It didn't look forced."

Garza, who works at a Manhattan Payless Shoe Source, came to Marquee with a co-worker, who left earlier in the evening, the source said.

Police hope to question Mele, who they believe coaxed Garza into going with him to his Wallkill, N.Y., apartment, sources said.

NYPD and State police on Friday night were seeking a search warrant for Mele's apartment, where cops believe a chunk of missing carpet in the building's hallway could hold evidence of a violent assault, a police source said.

Police described Garza as 5-feet-2 and 120 pounds. She has brown hair and brown eyes, police said.

She moved into the Bay Ridge apartment with her cousin in October.

Marquee, a magnet for the young and famous and their hangers-on, stumbled into trouble in July when police shut it and another club down after undercover cops made seven illegal drug buys, including one for $120 worth of cocaine.

Marquee and other clubs came under heightened enforcement in 2006 after 18-year-old Jennifer Moore was murdered following a night of heavy drinking at nearby Guest House.

"We have brand new high-tech cameras that were used to spot the girl [Garza]," a Marquee spokeswoman said. "We located her, we burned copies of the disk for the police and they've been thanking us profusely ever since."

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS or text their tips to 274637, then enter TIP577.

All calls will remain confidential.

agendar@nydailynews.com
« Last Edit: December 06, 2008, 10:01:36 AM by San » Logged
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« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2008, 07:13:10 PM »

2 Men Are Questioned in Woman’s Disappearance
12/6
A 25-year-old woman was reported missing early Wednesday after leaving a popular Manhattan nightclub, and investigators suspected she was the victim of foul play, the police said Friday.

The woman, Laura Garza, was last seen leaving Marquee, a club at 289 10th Avenue that has a reputation for attracting celebrities and crowds. Ms. Garza, who lives in Brooklyn, left the club at 4 a.m. on Wednesday and was reported missing a short time later, the police said.

On Friday night, the police were questioning two people they suspected were involved in Ms. Garza’s disappearance, said Paul J. Browne, the chief police spokesman.

“We suspect foul play and are concerned for her safety,” he said. “Detectives identified two men who were seen leaving the club with her and determined that both of them reside outside the city in upstate New York.”
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/06/nyregion/06missing.html?ref=nyregion
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« Reply #3 on: December 06, 2008, 08:04:25 PM »

http://www.nypost.com/seven/12062008/news/regionalnews/club_gal_missing_142953.htm


'BLOODY SUV' IN CLUB-GAL HUNT
PERV'S CALL TO PAL EYED IN LAURA GARZA 'MURDER'


By LARRY CELONA, MATTHEW NESTEL and ADAM NICHOLS
 Suspect Michael Mele

Last updated: 7:23 pm
December 6, 2008
Posted: 7:18 pm
December 6, 2008

Cops hunting a woman who disappeared from a Manhattan nightclub towed a bloodstained SUV from their prime suspect's upstate family home today - hours after the sexual deviant called a pal begging him not to speak to police, sources said.

Investigators searched lakes and a wooded area near Michael Mele's family's Middletown house for Laura Garza, 25, whose case is being treated as a homicide.

The black Lexus was pulled from the home's driveway at around 3 a.m. after the convicted sex offender turned himself into police in Orange County on an unrelated charge.

Surveillance video showed he was one of two men who left Chelsea's Marquee nightclub with Garza at 4 a.m. Wednesday morning. She has not been seen since.

Cops said Mele, 23, drove Garza and his pal upstate, dropping off the friend on the way.

"The friend said they had been drinking, but Garza was fine when he left," a police source said.

"He said Mele and Garza had been making out in the club. Mele had said to his friend that he wanted to have sex with her, and they all left the club.

"On Friday, Mele called the other guy and said if the cops call, don't say anything," the source said.

Another police source said bloodstains were found in the SUV.

Cops also said they found a piece of carpet mysteriously cut out in an apartment Mele maintains near the family home. More blood was allegedly found in the house.


Neighbors said landscapers working on the property discovered a knife, which they turned over to police.

Mele has several arrests, most recently in Rockland County for performing a lewd act in front of shoppers on four different occasions at the Palisades Mall. He was placed on the sex-offenders list.

He turned himself in to Newburgh police Friday night, accompanied by his lawyer, and was held "with respect to a minor, unrelated offense in New York City." Sources said the warrant is believed to be for an outstanding traffic violation.

He was transferred to Brooklyn today. Newburgh police said "contrary to earlier reports, Mele was not spoken to at any length regarding the missing woman."

Mele, who owns a Quiznos franchise in Middletown, is known to be wealthy.

"He thought he was a big jock," a man who went to high school with him said today. "He walked around like he was above everybody else."


Garza, a Mexican native who moved to New York six months ago from Mission, Texas, went to the club with a friend, police said. She was seen on the club's surveillance cameras dancing with Mele, and leaving with him and his friend.

Neighbors in the Bay Ridge apartment she shared with her cousin today described her as perhaps too friendly.

"She seemed like a really sweet Southern girl who just threw herself out there," said Jessica Canal. "She was a little naive."

Additional reporting by Lorena Mongelli, CJ Sullivan and Phil Messing

larry.celona@nypost.com
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« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2008, 09:42:54 PM »

There is a park very close to the club and the Hudson River isn't far away either.

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« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2008, 12:57:09 AM »

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/ny_crime/2008/12/06/2008-12-06_massive_hunt_in_disappearance_of_laura_g.html



Massive hunt in disappearance of Laura Garza; Brooklyn beauty vanished from MarqueeBY JOE GOULD and LARRY MCSHANE
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITERS

Saturday, December 6th 2008, 7:38 PM

 
A massive hunt is underway in the disappearance of Laura Garza, 25. Police are searching near the apartment of registered sex offender Michael Mele, with whom she was last seen.

State police on Saturday scoured the upstate home of a registered sex offender suspected in the disappearance of a gorgeous young Brooklyn woman.

Investigators spent hours poring through Michael Mele's Wallkill, N.Y. condo and the surrounding property, donning full-body suits and sending a helicopter over the adjoining woods in a hunt for the victim.

"There are a lot of leads to run down," said Terrence Mullen, senior state police investigator. "It's an ongoing investigation."

Mele, 23, was in custody Saturday on a probation violation for drinking in the Manhattan nightclub where he met Laura Garza, 25, who arrived in New York from a south Texas town just five months ago.

State police had yet to interview Mele.

Garza, a curly-haired beauty who works at a Manhattan shoe store, was last seen leaving the Marquee on Tenth Ave. with Mele about 4 a.m. Wednesday.

The ritzy club's video cameras captured Garza dancing and chatting with Mele for more than 45 minutes before she vanished.

Police described Garza as 5-feet-2 and 120 pounds. She has brown hair and brown eyes.

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« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2008, 09:04:09 AM »

Sex-con suspect Michael Mele has bites and scratches; machete, woman's shoe pulled from trash

BY JOE GOULD, JOHN LAUINGER, ALISON GENDAR and LARRY McSHANE
DAILY NEWS WRITERS

Sunday, December 7th 2008, 3:53 AM


http://www.nydailynews.com/news/ny_crime/2008/12/06/2008-12-06_sexcon_suspect_michael_mele_has_bites_an.html



State Police found a machete and a woman's shoe Saturday as they scoured the upstate home of a registered sex offender suspected in the disappearance - and murder - of a naive New York newcomer.

Police sources revealed that Michael Mele had bite marks on his hands and scratch marks on his neck - and thoroughly cleaned his Wallkill apartment after the young beauty he allegedly brought home from a Manhattan nightclub went missing.

Besides scrubbing his condo with bleach, Mele, 23, cut out patches of hallway carpeting, vacuumed obsessively and frantically tossed pieces of evidence in Dumpsters, sources said. "He had three days to clean up his apartment," a police source said.

Neighbors recounted Mele's erratic behavior following his night with Laura Garza, 25.

Condo superintendent Ron Ciofalo said two days earlier he watched Mele - in jeans and a leather jacket - root through the Dumpster where the shoe was found yesterday. "He was acting weird Thursday night when he went to the Dumpster," recalled Ciofalo, 36. "He said he was looking for a credit card bill. ... Something's fishy."

A blue piece of cloth resembling women's undergarments was also found near shrubbery a couple of doors down from Mele's condo.

Mele was in custody Saturday in the Rockland County jail on a probation violation for drinking alcohol at the trendy Marquee club in Chelsea where he met Garza, a curly-haired beauty who came to New York from a south Texas town just five months ago. Police sources said Mele - the wealthy son of retired MTA Assistant Deputy Police Chief William Mele - declined to speak with investigators.

Garza was last seen leaving the club with Mele and a friend about 4 a.m. Wednesday.

Mele spoke with his pal several times after Garza vanished and would only say he was in trouble, sources said.

Investigators zeroed in on Mele after high-tech surveillance cameras at Marquee captured the pair dancing, flirting and talking for about 45 minutes, giving cops their first real clue to her whereabouts.

Mele, who detectives reached by cell phone after Garza was reported missing, initially denied leaving the club with her, sources said. After reviewing cell phone records, club surveillance video and statements from his pal, police believe Mele killed Garza inside his condo Wednesday morning, sources said.

Investigators spent hours poring through Mele's home and the surrounding property Saturday, donning full-body suits and sending a helicopter over the adjoining woods in a hunt for the victim.

Cops plan to drain or send divers to comb the drainage pond in Mele's backyard to search for the body, sources said.

State police impounded the car Mele was driving on the night of Garza's disappearance. Sources said the Infiniti SUV, found parked at his father's Newburgh home, had been thoroughly cleaned.

The building super said Mele - who owns a Quiznos franchise near his home - claimed that he needed to cut up the carpeting after accidentally kicking over a bottle of bleach. Mele's girlfriend came to his apartment around 5 p.m. Wednesday and, buying the story, helped Mele remove the carpet from the apartment, unaware it might contain evidence linking her boyfriend to murder, sources said.

The rug covered a 12-foot-long hallway leading to the back bedroom. "Enough to wrap a body in," a police source said.

Mele's girlfriend later told state cops where they put the carpet section and led them to the vacuum they tossed beside a Dumpster near his restaurant.

Mele has a bizarre and perverse criminal past. He was arrested in April 2007 for masturbating on women in the parking lot at the suburban Palisades Center Mall, said Clarkstown police Detective William Fritz.

Neighbors described Mele as volatile and flashy, often decked out in expensive clothes and driving a sports car. He paid cash for everything and convinced condo management not to run a background check before moving in, said Ciofalo.

Investigators tried to talk to Mele's parents. His mother, looking worn and showing signs of crying, said, "I hope you find her," before her husband motioned for her to be quiet, a source said.

Garza, a recent arrival in Brooklyn from McAllen, Tex., moved into her cousin's fifth-floor Bay Ridge apartment several months ago. Her neighbors recalled an outgoing and engaging woman with a pet poodle and a warm smile.

Weeping friends from her hometown said she was not the type to pick up a date in a bar. "It's not like her to do anything stupid like this, to leave with a guy from a club," said Julie Cortez, 24. "She's our girl. She's a sweet girl."

agendar@nydailynews.com

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« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2008, 03:34:15 PM »

Once a friggin sex offender ... always a dirt bag friggin sex offender.

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« Reply #8 on: December 07, 2008, 11:44:53 PM »

Once a friggin sex offender ... always a dirt bag friggin sex offender.






No kidding. And apparently he was a ticking time bomb that exploded on the night he met this poor girl.
It sounds like his Dad knows he did it....
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« Reply #9 on: December 08, 2008, 05:43:17 AM »

Once a friggin sex offender ... always a dirt bag friggin sex offender.





No kidding. And apparently he was a ticking time bomb that exploded on the night he met this poor girl.
It sounds like his Dad knows he did it....

Yes it does sound like his father knows he did it.
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« Reply #10 on: December 08, 2008, 05:46:29 AM »

CLUB GIRL'S 'LAST' RIDE
BLOODY SUV BARED IN HUNT FOR VANISH CLUES


By MATTHEW NESTEL, JOSEPH MOLLICA and CARY CARDWELL

Last updated: 4:12 am
December 8, 2008
Posted: 2:21 am
December 8, 2008


http://www.nypost.com/seven/12082008/news/regionalnews/club_girls_last_ride_143206.htm

Investigators seeking to link a hotshot ladies' man with the disappearance of a Brooklyn beauty appealed to the public yesterday, releasing photos of the bloodstained SUV in which she might have taken her last ride.

Cops want to hear from anyone who saw Michael Mele's 2005 Infiniti FX35 - which had temporary plates - any time after early Wednesday morning, when he left the Chelsea club Marquee with 25-year-old Laura Garza and a male pal.

Investigators scoured Mele's apartment complex in upstate Middletown for the second straight day, draining a septic tank and sending dogs into the nearby woods.

Garza's distraught family in Texas tried to stay hopeful.

"We have lots of faith that she will be found," said her tearful brother, Ivan Garza, 32, a tour-bus driver from Monterrey, Mexico, where images of drug-related gang violence often dominate the news.

"We would see that on TV, and I never thought it could happen to our family."

Police spent more than 2½ hours at Garza's apartment last night, and walked out with a plastic bag of her belongings and several files.

Ivan Garza said his sister would never take off without telling anyone.

"She's a very responsible person," he said. "She was not a drinker. She'd go out with friends, but they went out together and they left and came home together."

The missing woman's mother, Elizabeth, has barely eaten or slept since learning that her daughter vanished four days ago and didn't show up to meet her roommate for the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree lighting.

"This is her baby," said a cousin, Isela Villalobos. "She's thinking, 'Where's my daughter? Is she hurting?' "

Villalobos added that Garza knew better than to leave a club with a stranger - and was puzzled when shown photos of Mele, because, she said, light-skinned men were never Garza's type.

"She doesn't like white guys," Villalobos said. "She likes dark-skinned guys."

Cops said yesterday they want to hear from any women who might have had unpleasant run-ins with Mele.

"Mele frequents locations in and around New York City and the tristate area, and it is believed that some of the women he has approached have not come forward to police at this time," said State Police Lt. Pierce Gallagher.

The suspect, who owns a Quiznos sandwich shop upstate, is being held in lieu of $50,000 bail for violating the terms of his probation, stemming from a 2007 forcible-touching incident.

Friends and associates described Mele as a successful young man who loves flashy cars and beautiful women, and they expressed shock that he could be linked to Garza's disappearance.
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« Reply #11 on: December 08, 2008, 05:46:58 AM »

I think this girl was drugged.
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« Reply #12 on: December 08, 2008, 05:52:44 AM »

Missing woman's family pleads for her safety as cops zero in on pervBY MIKE JACCARINO in McAllen, Tex., JOE GOULD in Wallkill, N.Y., and JONATHAN LEMIRE in New York
DAILY NEWS WRITERS

Monday, December 8th 2008, 4:00 AM


The devastated family of a missing 25-year-old Brooklyn woman picked up at a glitzy club by a registered sex offender - who cops suspect killed her - begged Sunday for the young beauty's safe return.

"Please return my sister," cried Ivan Garza, the heartsick brother of Laura Garza, outside the family's Texas home.

"I only need my sister here," he said. "That's it."

An aspiring dancer who moved to New York five months ago, Laura Garza called her mother in McAllen, Tex., hours before she had her fateful encounter with suspect Michael Mele, her brother told the Daily News.

She had finished her shift as a clerk at Bakers shoe store on Fifth Ave. near the Empire State Building and, excited that she did not have to work the next day, was planning to go out with co-workers.

"She said, 'Mom, I have to run. Tomorrow, I'm not working,'" said Ivan Garza.

Inside the one-story ranch-style home, 5 miles from the Mexican border, Garza's mother was inconsolable.

"[My mother] is in bad shape. She's taking medicine and is in bed," said Ivan Garza. "My sister never hurt anyone. She's a beautiful person."

Investigators believe that Laura Garza met Mele, 23, at the swanky Marquee club in Chelsea after midnight on Wednesday.

Surveillance cameras at the celeb-friendly hot spot captured Garza flashing her stunning smile at Mele as the pair flirted and danced for about 45 minutes.

The two left together with one of Mele's friends at 4 a.m.

Investigators suspect that Mele took Garza back to his condo in upstate Wallkill and killed her. Her body has not been found.

Garza's brother insisted that his sister must have been taken from the club by force, saying she was not someone who would leave with a stranger.

"My sister was a good girl. ... She would never have done something like this," said a choked-up Ivan Garza.

"We just want this to end," he said. "Come home safe."

McAllen, a city of about 130,000 people, never seemed big enough for Laura Garza, who had long spoken of being attracted to New York's bright lights, her friends said.

"She wanted to live in a big city. ... She was excited to leave [Texas]," said Eddie Garza (no relation to the family), store manager at the Charlotte Russe clothing store, where Laura once worked.

"It's New York - who wouldn't want to live in New York?" he said. "She wanted to study and be a professional dancer."

"It's very sad," he said.

State police detectives combed Mele's posh condo Sunday, dusting for fingerprints on his balcony and draining the pond and septic tank at the Regency Club apartment complex.

Mele - who was arrested for lewd behavior in 2007 - remained in custody Sunday at a Rockland County jail on a probation violation for drinking alcohol at the Manhattan club.

Police sources said Mele, who had bite marks on his hands and scratch marks on his neck, has refused to be interviewed by investigators. His lawyer, Craig Brown, declined comment.

Last April, Mele was arrested for masturbating on women at the suburban Palisades Center Mall and is now registered as a Level 1 sex offender.

Investigators suspect he has harassed other women who have not reported the crimes, and they urged them to come forward. Mele has not been charged in Garza's disappearance.

Investigators released photos of the suspect's 2005 Infiniti SUV Sunday, hoping someone would remember seeing it and lead cops to Garza's corpse.

The car, which had been thoroughly cleaned, was seized by cops at the Newburgh home of the suspect's dad, William Mele, a retired MTA assistant deputy police chief.

Investigators believe the younger Mele cut out patches of hallway carpeting, vacuumed thoroughly and frantically tossed away pieces of evidence, including a woman's shoe, in several Dumpsters, one of which sits at the Quiznos franchise he owns near his home.

The missing pieces of rug covered a 12-foot-long hallway leading to a back bedroom and were big "enough to wrap a body in," a police source said.

Unaware of Mele's rendezvous with Garza, the suspect's girlfriend helped him dispose of the carpet, sources said.

One of Mele's neighbors, who said young women were a common sight at the condo, panicked when she learned that Mele was a registered sex offender.

"Are you serious?" screamed a woman who gave her name only as Carol. "I have a freakin' 14-year-old daughter. Now I'm really freaking out."

jlemire@nydailynews.com

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« Reply #13 on: December 09, 2008, 10:29:31 AM »

N.J. warrant issued for suspect in N.Y. disappearance  
 
 
 

(12/09/08) PARAMUS - Authorities in Paramus have issued a felony warrant for a sex offender who is also a suspect in the disappearance of a New York City woman.

Twenty-five-year-old Laura Garza left a Manhattan nightclub last week with 23-year-old Michael Mele of Wallkill, New York, and hasn't been seen since.

Mele's lawyer, Craig Brown, has declined to comment on his client's guilt or innocence since Mele has not been charged in the case.

In New Jersey, Mele is accused of lewdness in a public place and exposure to a child under 13 years of age. Police say he masturbated in a Paramus-area mall.

Rockland County, N.Y. Sheriff's Detective Lt. William Barbera says Mele is wanted in Paramus on "a similar type charge" to previous offenses.

Sgt. Harry Baumann of the Clarkstown, N.Y. police says Mele's earlier convictions involve several episodes of public lewdness, including masturbating near women at a shopping mall.

This story was written using Associated Press wire reports.

 
http://www.news12.com/NJ/topstories/article?id=222010#"

 
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« Reply #14 on: December 09, 2008, 11:41:50 AM »

Once a friggin sex offender ... always a dirt bag friggin sex offender.


Agreed AND once again proves how are our justice system works. Let a scum out on the street and look at what he's done.. I look for sex offenders around my area EVERYDAY and BOOM right around the corner from me AND so is my childs school and they are NOT suppose to be in a school zone. WHAT A WORLD WE LIVE IN! 
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« Reply #15 on: December 09, 2008, 12:24:31 PM »


Women provide police information on suspect in case of missing 25-year-old

by The Associated Press Tuesday December 09, 2008, 12:23 AM
WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. -- A number of women came forward Monday with information about a sex offender who left a nightclub with a woman who vanished shortly afterward, state police said as they searched woods and trash bins near the man's home.

The missing woman, 25-year-old Laura Garza, was a newly transplanted New Yorker who had left a Texas border town with dreams of becoming a dancer. The suspect, 23-year-old Michael Mele, had a record of sex crimes in the northern suburbs.

By Monday evening, Mele was facing apparently unrelated charges. Authorities in Paramus, N.J., issued a warrant accusing him of lewdness in a public place and exposure to a child under 13 years of age, Rockland County sheriff's Detective Lt. William Barbera told reporters, calling the new case "similar" to his previous offenses. Sgt. Harry Baumann of the Clarkstown police said Mele's earlier convictions involved several episodes of public lewdness, including masturbating near women at a shopping mall.

A message left with the Paramus police chief seeking further details wasn't immediately returned. A message left for Mele's lawyer about the New Jersey charges wasn't immediately returned.

The two met last week at the Marquee nightclub in Manhattan. They left together early Wednesday and were last seen a couple of hours later in his fancy SUV, 70 miles north of Manhattan and not far from his Wallkill apartment.

Garza hasn't been seen since.

On Monday, state police were still searching Mele's apartment and his Infiniti, as well as nearby fields, woods, trash bins and a septic system, but there was no sign of Garza, dead or alive, said state police Capt. Wayne Olson.

"We need to find this young woman," Olson said. "We haven't determined that this is a homicide, but certainly we strongly suspect she is a victim of foul play."


 
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Posted by nosofte on 12/09/08 at 7:51AM
I hope evidence is found to implicate this bastard get him off the streets, and put him away for life!

Posted by monmouthco1 on 12/09/08 at 8:37AM
Exposing himself to young girls and jaying off in front of women at the mall? Animals like this should be culled.

Posted by hpd3636 on 12/09/08 at 8:41AM
"A message left with the Paramus police chief seeking further details wasn't immediately returned. A message left for Mele's lawyer about the New Jersey charges wasn't immediately returned."

not immediately returned implys that they were eventualy returned so, what did they say?



http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2008/12/women_provide_police_informati.html














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« Reply #16 on: December 09, 2008, 07:49:22 PM »

Who can a Woman Trust: The Disappearance of Laura Garza
News Type: Event — Sun Dec 7, 2008 9:37 PM EST
police, murder, missing, night-club, laura-garza, michael-mele, new-york-city-club
Clint Van Zandt

Laura Garza

Michael Mele

Although at 25 years of age Laura Garza was no stranger to life, she was new to New York City, a place that appeared to hold out the promise of fun and adventure for the young woman who moved to the Big Apple from McAllen, Texas just five months ago. A local New York neighbor, when asked about the missing woman, indicated she just didn’t seem to have her guard up like most New Yorkers do, suggesting she might have been too trusting and too naïve for what one club goer called "the predatory spirit found in New York City night clubs." Letting your guard down can prove to be fatal, and that is what police fear for the beautiful woman that left an upscale Manhattan club, one usually populated by the rich, the famous, and the want-to-be’s, at 4 AM this past Wednesday with two men, really strangers she had just met. (See The Today Show for 12/8/08.)

Fatal Mistakes

Garza may have made a number of fatal mistakes, including one made by many women who have become victims of sexual predators in similar situations. Garza came to the bar with a friend, but she left her friend to be with a man she had just met, someone she otherwise knew nothing about. As Tom Cruise's character learned in the movie "Top Gun," you never leave your wingman, the person who would have your best interest at heart, a lesson also learned by 18-year-old Natalee Holloway in Aruba and Imette St. Guillen, the 24-year-old criminal justice graduate student who in early 2006, made a fatal error in judgment; she too trusted the wrong man.

Physical evidence and the man behind the Mask

The known physical evidence appears to implicate the man Garza left the bar with, 23-year-old Michael Mele, the son of a former deputy chief of police and a registered sex offender, in her disappearance and suspected violent death. Garza had no way of knowing that Mele had recently been convicted of at least four (known) sex offenses and assaults on women in open shopping mall parking lots. She didn’t know that Mele allegedly ran up to his selected female victims, all which police indicated had something in common, suggesting Mele was a preferential predator, i.e., he knew the type of victims he wanted and he went after them. She didn’t know he had terrorized his victims, masturbating in front of them, leaving his semen on the clothing of the frightened women, women that will never get out of their car again without looking around in fear of Mele. And Garza likely never suspected that the man she left the bar with that early morning had plead down his sex offenses charges to forcible touching and endangering the welfare of a child (one of his victims was a 16-year-old girl) for which this son of a cop got six years probation, but not one second in prison. Where was the one strike law when we needed it for this offender that displayed such sexually aggressive behavior toward his victims, some of which may have yet to be identified?

Statements from others in the bar that night, to include Mele’s friend, and review of cellular telephone records and video tapes from the bar show Mele dancing and embracing Garza and then show her leaving the bar with him, something he initially denied to police. Evidence confirms that she left with Mele at 4 AM and got into a car with him and his friend, the latter of whom would eventually leave the two to go to Mele’s apartment alone. Mele would soon tell his friend that he was in trouble and that his friend should not talk to police, obviously not the actions of an innocent man.

When Garza was reported as missing, the police quickly went looking for Mele. When they found him he had scratches on his neck, bite marks on his hands, and had allegedly scrubbed his car and apartment with bleach, this with the assistance of his unknowing girlfriend. He also cut out a large piece of his carpet, indicating that he had accidentally spilled bleach on it, a piece large enough to wrap around the body of a 5’2”, 120 lb. woman like Garza. Witnesses indicate Mele frantically cleaned and vacuumed his car and apartment the morning of Garza’s disappearance, eventually disposing of the vacuum cleaner, one that could contain physical evidence related to the missing woman.

In their search for Garza, police have found a machete, a woman’s shoe and other items of clothing that could be related to the victim, some of which were recovered from a nearby dumpster he was seen going through. Evidence of blood was found in Mele’s SUV, one he had parked at his parent’s home, and blood was also found by police in his apartment. DNA should quickly tell police if the blood and other physical evidence confirm what investigators believe, that Mele took Garza to his apartment where he may have assaulted and murdered her, then took her remains to a yet to be discovered body disposal site. Should this be the case, investigators will attempt to determine where he car was the morning of Garza's disappearance and where a man in panic would go to dispose of a body. Divers are in the pond behind his apartment in case he chose a close by site. Although now in police custody for violation of his probation, he is represented by counsel and is not discussing his role in the disappearance and possible death of Garza. I have no doubt that other young girls and women, after seeing Mele's photo and reading about his actions, will come forward to identify him as their previously unidentified assailant. Too late, I fear, for Laura Garza.

Others who trusted too Much

Natalee Holloway is believed to have been the victim of one or more of the three men she left an Aruban bar with the last night she was seen on this earth. Imette St. Guillen told her wingman that she wanted to stay at the bar until its 4 AM closing time. Her nude body was found over 16 hours later, raped, strangled, a sock stuffed in her mouth, her windpipe crushed and her broken form concealed in a cheap bedspread, her emotionless face wrapped with clear packing tape, her hair cut and other injuries just too terrible to discuss. Darryl Littlejohn, a bouncer at the Soho bar she had left, someone who convinced St. Guillen that he was a federal agent, was seen helping the victim into his van after she left the bar and has been charged with her brutal murder.

Take time out to check him Out

New York City has been the site of almost 480 murders this year, a pace that could surpass last year’s total number of 496 murders, noting that there is a homicide somewhere in the United States every 31 minutes. But what could Garza have done not to have become the suspected victim of a sexual predator, someone who apparently changed his MO from targeting outdoor victims to going after indoor victims. Garza, like other women in a similar situation, could have given herself 12-24 hours before she accompanied someone she had just met, no matter how charming and handsome the potential suitor/predator might be. Had she searched Mele’s name on the Internet, she would have found a news blurb dated April 4, 2008, indicating that her new friend, Michael Mele, age 22, had been added to the New York State Sex Offender Registry following a sex offense conviction and that he was on six years probation.

The opinion of your friends and family are equally important as are the personal vibes you get from the new person in your life. A reader of this column made a good observation that it is also important to at least make the new person your facebook and myspace friend, this in order to confirm that they are who they say they are, and that a group of people know them. This would also provide you a good look at their online itneractions and groups they join, so if it feels wrong then you can just revert to only online friends or deleting/blocking them if their profiles are offensive. The reader continued that if the guy looks too good, and he's throwing around too much money, you should be careful of your interactions with him. Remember that a predator will attempt to identify a likely victim by isolating her from her friends and encouraging her to go beyond the limits she's sat for herself, this like a lion stalking a herd of gazelles, looking for the one he can cut from the herd and attack. (Last, I want to be careful here. This is not "blame the victim," as Laura is surely not responsible for what terrible act may have befallen her. All I am saying is what should a person in her position should consider as she make such a decision.)

Lies and Murder

Too many people tell too many lies to too many other people. If over 50% of people lie on resumes, what do they say in a bar late at night? Although some married men and women do kill their spouses, think of Scott Peterson or the allegations concerning Drew Peterson or the pastor's wife who shotgunned her allegedly abusive husband to death. We also know that thousands of people hook up for one or two night stands or begin dating without murder as a consequence, but between STD’s and sexual predators, it’s worth the few extra hours to make a preliminary check on the person with whom you are considering sharing yourself. While those with STD’s may not be the subject of a news media article, criminals usually are. In Garza’s case, she may simply have accepted a ride home and found herself in a situation from which she could not escape, and the true personality of her new friend, like that of Jekyll and Hyde, then revealed its hidden self. Meanwhile her friends, family and investigators continue to await DNA results and the decision made in a moment late at night on the part of two people, the suspected killer and his trusting victim, may have led to the death of yet another person with so much potential, a life lost due to a little too much trust in one’s fellow man.

It was the philosopher and poet George Santayana who said "Those who cannot remember the past, are condemned to repeat it," hence his "Aphorism on Repetitive Consequences." How do you explain a man who has such a sense of personal entitlement that he uses his charm to endear himself to a woman and then demands physical access to her. If rebuffed, he sees this as such an overwhelming narcissistic attack that he vents his anger and rage on his now victim in an attempt to force compliance to his will or as a means to punish "the offender" for her lack of compliance. Once he has vented, he finally see the results of his actions, and then, like millions in history before him, attempts to cover up his evil deed while denying any wrongdoing on his part, a reaction that dates back to the time of Cain and Abel. When will we ever learn?

http://clintvanzandt.newsvine.com/_news/2008/12/07/2189163-who-can-a-woman-trust-the-disappearance-of-laura-garza
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« Reply #17 on: December 09, 2008, 08:06:47 PM »

My Lord, I think I just heard that this scumbag had only been charged with misdemeanors previously.  What!  Someone runs up in a mall or mall parking lot and ejaculates on me and that is not a freaking felony?  It is sure as heck an assault!

There should be a limit, a very low limit, of these types of sexual crimes and then chemical castration.  Or if someone is arrested for a lessor sexual charge and then escalates the next time - automatic castration.  Damn we can't keep them in prison, they can't be treated and the law let's them loose on the world, over and over.
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« Reply #18 on: December 09, 2008, 08:47:37 PM »

The New York Post
 
December 9, 2008 Tuesday 
 
SIB'S PSYCHIC SEARCHING - SEER SAYS CLUB GIRL STILL ALIVE
 
A brother of the curly-haired beauty who disappeared after leaving a Chelsea club with an upstate sex fiend spent yesterday searching for her along the Hudson River on the advice of a psychic, relatives said.

Nicholas Garza traveled to New York from Texas after one of several "seers" his family consulted claimed that Laura Garza, 25, was "still alive but very near death, with pain in her chest. She was lying under a bridge where water feeds into the ocean," according to her other brother, Ivan.

"I didn't want her to go there because it's such a big city," said Laura's mother, Elizabeth Esquivel.

"She would tell me, 'Mommy I love the cities, and I want to learn and experience more.' "

She also doesn't believe her daughter left the club with two men willingly because "she is not like that, they had to have put something in her drink."

The heartbreaking hunt for the missing girl was under way as it was learned yesterday that the prime suspect in Laura's disappearance - Michael Mele - is behind bars on a probation violation, and will stay there thanks to a fresh arrest warrant for public lewdness.

Mele, 23, is suspected in Garza's disappearance because he drove her upstate from the Chelsea hotspot Marquee early last Wednesday, lied to cops about it, and reportedly tore up his carpet and frantically cleaned his home in a possible bid to destroy evidence, authorities said.

The lewdness charge stems from Mele's alleged masturbating in the presence of a child at the Paramus Park Mall in 2005, said Paramus Police Chief Richard Cary. DNA, obtained for a probation violation related to a forcible-touching charge last year at the Palisades Mall, tied him to the crime, Cary said.

Ryan Perez, a 20-year-old whom Mele hired three years ago to work in an upstate Quiznos sandwich shop Mele owns, described the suspect as a stingy, lecherous hothead who routinely hit on comely female customers and occasionally threw temper tantrums.

"This guy liked to pick up girls at work," Perez said of Mele. "He asked if they went to college - that was his cue to go talk to them. He's pretty slick."

Perez said when he began dating a co-worker who Mele was interested in, his boss became jealous and surly, and later fired the woman.

Perez, who himself later was fired, said Mele had a fierce temper, recalling a time Perez got to work late, infuriating Mele. "He punched the wall three times," Perez said. "He said, 'see those holes over there? I made those.' " 
http://www6.lexisnexis.com/publisher/EndUser?Action=UserDisplayFullDocument&orgId=574&topicId=100020825&docId=l:896057639&start=2
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« Reply #19 on: December 10, 2008, 10:08:36 PM »

SUSPECT'S RAGE IN MISSING CLUB GIRL CASE

By PERRY CHIARAMONTE and KELLY MAGEE
Suspect Michael MeleLast updated: 8:55 pm
December 10, 2008
Posted: 8:55 pm
December 10, 2008




The sexual predator being eyed in the disappearance of a club-going beauty screamed at his employee for telling cops where he lived and ordered her to keep her mouth shut, she said today

"I can't believe you told them where I live!" Michael Mele shouted over the phone at Kim Rosario, the manager of his Quiznos franchise, hours after investigators came into the shop.

The cops showed up at the Middletown eatery Friday afternoon, less than two days after Laura Garza was last seen with Mele.

"I called him and he wouldn't talk to them. He told me not to tell them that he moved. I told him that I wasn't going to lie to the police," Rosario, 21, told The Post. "The cops grabbed the phone from me and told Mike that he had to come down."

A few hours later, Mele, 23, turned himself in. He has refused to answer any questions, and is being held on a probation violation from an earlier sex offense.

A friend of Garza's who had gone to the club that night said when she left, she saw Mele chatting up her friend.

Additional reporting by Mary Nichols in McAllen, Texas

http://www.nypost.com/seven/12102008/news/regionalnews/suspects_rage_in_missing_club_girl_case_143562.htm
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