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Suspect in August murder ID'd, armed and dangerous

Carlos Garcia-Viera

Carlos Garcia-Viera

Gwinnett County police believe they’ve already spoken to the man who killed Diego Rojo Ramirez. Now they just have to find him again.

Ramirez, 23, of Lawrenceville was reported missing on August 17, the same night a 911 caller reported hearing gunshots at 6460 Buford Highway, located in Gwinnett’s portion of unincorporated Doraville. Ramirez’s vehicle was found nearby, but his body was later discovered some 17 miles away on Proctor Street in Atlanta.

On Tuesday, police released the identity of his alleged killer: 39-year-old Carlos Garcia-Viera. He reportedly knew Ramirez, though the extent of that relationship was unknown.

“We’re looking into the possibility this was drug related,” Gwinnett County police spokesman Cpl. Jake Smith said, “but we’re not comfortable saying with any great certainty what that involvement was for both of the parties.”

Garcia-Viera, who has not been detained, is no stranger to police either. He has no local arrest record, but was interviewed when Ramirez was merely a missing person, Smith said. Detectives knew from the start that Garcia-Viera was one of the last people to see the victim alive.

Now that authorities allegedly have evidence tying Garcia-Viera to the murder, they aren’t sure where he may be. He had a Georgia driver’s license and was in the country legally, Smith said, but it was unclear Tuesday if he was a permanent citizen.

Authorities believe Ramirez was shot in Doraville — where a “significant amount of blood and a spent shell casing” were found — before being dumped in Atlanta. Police there said previously that Ramirez, originally believed to be 33 years old, was shot several times.

Garcia-Viera should be considered armed and dangerous.

“We do not have the weapon that was used (in the homicide),” Smith said, “so he could possibly still have that.”

Anyone with information regarding Garcia-Viera should contact GCPD homicide detectives at 770-513-5300 or Crime Stoppers at 404-557-TIPS. Anyone encountering him should call 911.