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Brumback Colleagues and Friends React to Murder Arrest

Lindsey Theis

Brumback Colleagues and Friends React to Murder Arrest

CREATED Jul. 15, 2013

Omaha, NE- "It's relief, relief, relief," Laura Neece-Baltaro said.

Baltaro and her husband were friends with Roger and Mary Brumbacks for years. Up until this year, her husband worked in the Creighton pathology department with Dr. Brumback, and Dr. William Hunter, too.

She says that's why she was relieved to learn today a former Creighton University student has been arrested in connection with two unsolved double homicides in Omaha.

Dr. Anthony Garcia, 40, was arrested in Illinois for the 2013 deaths of Dr. Roger Brumback and his wife Mary, and the 2008 deaths of Shirlle Sherman and Thomas Hunter. Dr. Garcia is being held on 4 counts of first-degree murder.

Police say Dr. Garcia was a student and resident in the pathology department from 2000 to 2001, when his employment was terminated by Dr. Brumback and Thomas Hunter's father, Dr. Bill Hunter.

Omaha Police Chief Todd Schmaderer says a task force has been monitoring Dr. Garcia's movements and was set to serve a search warrant Tuesday. New developments today led Illinois police to make the arrest during a traffic stop. Officers found a .45 caliber hand gun in his car during the arrest.

Dr. Bruce Buehler, a former department chair at UNMC, and co-journal author with Brumback says he is not surprised Garcia was a disgruntled ex-resident.

"Once you hire a resident it's pretty much the end of their career. They have to succeed. If we don't feel you make it, we have to pull the plug. I did it, and I think Roger did it multiple times," he said. "I've had several death threats. I had one woman call me and tell me she was going to come and shoot me at 4:45 on a Friday afternoon. So I called the police, and she came. And she had a gun."

Late tonight we received a statement from Creighton President, Father Tim Lannon.

He said in part, "We continue to keep those affected by these events in our thoughts and prayers. And we continue to pray for all of the special task force members still executing search warrants throughout the country."

Father Lannon said he would not comment on the nature of Garcia's firing in 2001.