A story for every victim

Dismembered man had kind nature, family recalls

Photo: David White, left, and Anthony White, brothers of Herbert White, appear at the LAPD’s Newton Area station with their mother, Elizabeth Peterson. Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times.

The family of a man who authorities said was killed during a robbery and then dismembered say his generous spirit may have led to his death.

Herbert Tracy White, a 49-year-old black man, was found dead Nov. 29 at the Continental Hotel near downtown's skid row. In 2008, Tommy Jackson, a 58-year-old black man, was stabbed to death at the same location.

Photo: Herbert White. Credit: KTLA.A maid at the hotel discovered White's severed limbs stuffed in a backpack. The rest of his body was found wrapped in a blanket under a bed in the hotel room. A knife was recovered at the scene.

The Pennsylvania couple who had rented the $40-a-night room — Edward Garcia Jr., 36, and his wife, Melissa Hope Garcia, 25, are wanted on suspicion of murder and torture.

Investigators used physical evidence left at the scene and witness’ statements to identify the couple.

White's family said his kind nature often meant he left family functions early to provide rides or otherwise help alcoholics in the middle of the night. White's wife, Annie Coty White, 73, said her husband left their Hollywood home early on the morning of Nov. 28 after receiving a phone call from a person asking him for a ride.

Photo: (left) Edward and (right) Melissa Garcia. Credit: LAPD. Police suspect White met the Garcias in Hollywood, befriended them and gave them money, said Det. Richard Arciniega of the Los Angeles Police Department. At some point, White accompanied the Garcias to the Continental Hotel where the couple had been staying for several days.

On the night of the slaying, a hotel security guard reported receiving a complaint about a commotion in the Garcias' room, police said. But when the guard went to investigate, the couple promised that they'd keep quiet and the guard left.

Police suspect that the Garcias were looking to rob White before killing him.

Reporter Nardine Saad has more on the story: L.A. slaying victim's kind nature may have cost him his life

Top photo: David White, left, and Anthony White, brothers of Herbert White, appear at the LAPD’s Newton Area station with their mother, Elizabeth Peterson. Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times.

Middle photo: Herbert White. Credit: KTLA.

Bottom photo: (left) Edward and (right) Melissa Garcia. Credit: LAPD.

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