Prime suspect Mele indicted in Garza murder

December 8, 2010 2:12:13 PM PST
A murder investigation two years in the making may finally be solved.

Laura Garza, just 25, vanished after leaving a Chelsea nightclub in 2008. Now, prosecutors have charged the prime suspect.

The Orange County district attorney announced the indictment of Michael Mele in connection with the Garza's murder.

The eight count indictment includes charges of murder, manslaughter and tampering with physical evidence (specifically two carpets, a car mat, and Garza's body).

Garza was captured on security cameras leaving the Marquee nightclub in Chelsea with Mele, a convicted sex offender who she met that night. Garza was last spotted near his condo upstate before she vanished without a trace.

Mele quickly became the prime suspect in Garza's disappearance, but he was not charged until now.

For 16 months, the family of the aspiring dancer prayed she'd be found alive.

But last April, ATV riders came across her remains in a Pennsylvania field. The case then went to a grand jury.

Mele is already serving time for violating his parole as a sex offender.

Do you have something to add to this story? Click here to contact Eyewitness News.