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L.A. seeks extradition of Mexican man accused in girl's 1983 slaying

June 23, 2010 | 12:33 pm

Los Angeles County prosecutors are beginning the process of asking Mexico the extradite a man accused in the 1983 kidnapping and killing of an 8-year-old girl as she walked home from school.

The Los Angeles Police Department cold-case squad announced last week it had found DNA evidence connecting Luis Garcia Villalvazo, a Mexican citizen, to the killing of the girl. He’s currently in a Mexican prison in an unrelated child killing.

Victoria Denise Brown was walking home from Graham Street Elementary School in Watts in October 1983 when a blue van pulled up next to her. The 8-year-old stopped briefly to talk to an occupant. Moments later, the van peeled away, and the little girl had vanished.

Police conducted an extensive search of the area, looking in storm drains, vacant lots and alleyways for any sign of the little girl.

Twenty-six hours later, Victoria's body was discovered inside the lidless trunk of an abandoned car in a gritty industrial corridor in nearby Wilmington bordered by oil fields and auto wrecking yards. Victoria, who had been snatched just half a block away from her house in the 9600 block of Anzac Avenue, had been sexually assaulted and strangled. In an interview last week, her father, Earnest Brown, said he had thought of committing suicide and turned to alcohol and other substances to try to dull the pain of his loss.

Brown described Victoria as “a delightful little girl” who loved playing with her friends, picking flowers and perching herself on her daddy’s lap on family road trips. Despite his struggle to come to terms with his loss, Brown said, he drew strength from his faith.

“My grandmother, before I lost my baby, set me aside and said, ‘Son, the hardest thing in the world for a person to do is bury one of your own,’ which meant one of your children,” Brown said. “The Lord sent me a child that was pure, and he took her back to heaven with him.”

-- Andrew Blankstein