Bree’Anna Guzman, 22-years-old, and Michelle Lozano, 17-years-old were raped and murdered in the Lincoln Heights area of Southern California in 2011. Their bodies were dumped near freeways in the same area according to Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) officers.

For the past six years, solving the murders has eluded investigators. Not any longer. Geovanni Borjas, 32-years-old, spat on a sidewalk while police were tailing him. Big mistake for him and a big break in the unsolved case for LAPD detectives.

Accused connected to murders by saliva, DNA, and a familial request

Borjas was linked to the murders following a DNA test, which Charlie Beck, LAPD chief, announced on May 30. His saliva was collected and his DNA was tested. He was arrested May 25 at his family’s home in Torrance, CA.

Before the murders were positively connected to the accused, it took time. LAPD’s Robbery-Homicide Division was working the investigations yet had difficulty making progress. The alleged attacker’s DNA was not in state or national criminal databases, so investigators requesting a familial search had to go through protocols established by the California’s Attorney General’s Office.

Approximately one month ago, the search led to the accused’s father.

Unfortunate for both father and son, his father had an arrest under his belt earlier in his life. With additional work, detectives identified Borjas as the possible suspect.

It was fortuitous for investigators that their suspect spat on the sidewalk while they were following him. Once his spit was tested, DNA paired with evidence from both murders.

Victim’s family responds after news suspected killer arrested

In May, Guzman would have turned 28-years-old. Two days after her birth date, Bree’Anna’s mother, Darlene Guzman, received a call letting her know that Borjas was arrested. She said relief followed shock. She believes she owes it to Bree’Anna to be present at his trial.

She told the Los Angeles Times that she has been put in a spot that “can’t turn back from.” She has to go forward, she said.

Along with her daughter, Rachel, age 16, Guzman visited the cemetery in Glendale where Bree’Anna is buried approximately two weeks after the call about Borjas’ arrest. They went to her daughter’s gravesite and, still there, was handwritten note from mother to daughter left during a previous visit. The note read: “My love, justice is on its way.”

Conviction could lead to death penalty for accused killer

He has been charged with one count of kidnapping, two counts of forcible rape, and two counts of murder. According to the District Attorney’s Office, Los Angeles County, Borjas pleaded not guilty in criminal court.

He faces life in prison without parole or the state’s death penalty if he is convicted as charged. It is currently undecided if prosecutors will seek a death sentence.

His attorney stated that Borjas is a father, he works full time, and that he is a low flight risk. However, for the public’s protection, he is being held without bail, according to the judge’s order. His attorney then asked the judge to place his client is protective custody while in jail. To that, the judge responded that we would recommend it to the Sheriff’s Department.

Lozano disappeared when she was walking near her home in Lincoln Heights around Easter 2011. A day later, her body was discovered at Cesar Chavez Boulevard close to the 5 freeway.

At a news conference May 30, Beck stated that she was sexually assaulted, she was murdered, and she was “discarded.”

It was one day after Christmas when Guzman left her apartment. She went to a nearby pharmacy to get medication. A month later, her body was found also off the freeway.

Each holiday that was the anniversary of each woman’s death, Beck said he thought of the victims. Lozano and Guzman were absolutely innocent victims, Beck said.

Guzman’s father, Richard Guzman, cried at the news conference while he addressed media. Though he was trying to not “break down,” he said it was hard. He also thanked the LAPD.