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Couple held in dismemberment of man at L.A. hotel [Updated]

December 10, 2010 |  4:03 pm

Mugs A couple wanted for allegedly killing and dismembering a man at a downtown Los Angeles hotel were arrested Friday, authorities said.

The arrests of Edward Garcia Jr., 36, and his wife, Melissa Hope Garcia, 25, were made by the U.S. marshal's service and the Los Angeles Police Department at a location on La Brea Avenue near Hawthorn Avenue in Hollywood.

A maid at the Continental Hotel discovered Herbert Tracy White's severed limbs stuffed in a backpack on the morning of Nov. 29. The rest of his body was found wrapped in a blanket under a bed in the hotel room.

The suspects, a Pennsylvania couple who had rented the $40-a-night room, are believed to have tortured White, 49, before killing him.

No more details about their arrests were immediately available. But sources said Melissa Hope Garcia had dyed her hair in an effort to change her appearance.

[Updated at 6:06 p.m.: Sources said the couple were arrested at a flop house frequented by heroin and crack users.

Meanwhile, White's familiy said they were relieved that the suspected killers were arrested so quickly.

"I am just so thankful that they’ve been caught this quickly. I knew they would be," said Elizabeth Peterson, White's mother.

The family said a public memorial service for White is scheduled at 2 p.m. Dec. 13 at Inglewood Cemetery-Mortuary.]

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-- Andrew Blankstein and Nardine Saad

Photos: Edward Garcia Jr., 36, and his wife, Melissa Hope Garcia, 25.

Credit: Los Angeles Police Department

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