Photos by Stephanie Rivera.
Long Beach officials today announced the arrest of a 22-year-old Oklahoma man suspected of killing a young mother and her 4-year-old daughter three months ago.
Brandon Ivan Colbert, of Tulsa, Oklahoma, was transferred into Long Beach police custody yesterday—after the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department’s (LASD) crime lab notified the Long Beach Police Department (LBPD) of a positive DNA match on October 31.
“We are of course thinking and praying at this time for the family of both Carina and Jennabel,” Mayor Robert Garcia said. “It’s been a very difficult few months but our thoughts and prayers have been with them and we know hopefully today will bring them some level of peace and ability to process this in their own way.”
LASD officials were able to connect Colbert to the murders by linking DNA evidence found on items at the crime scene to DNA collected and submitted when Colbert was arrested on August 27 in Los Angeles by Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) officers for driving a stolen vehicle, according to LBPD Lt. Lloyd Cox.
“When someone is arrested for a felony crime, they get swabbed and some people say it may be an invasion of somebody’s privacy, but it was the key in arresting this individual for killing this mother and her child,” Long Beach Police Chief Robert Luna said.
Colbert was booked yesterday by the LBPD for the August 6 murder of 26-year-old Carina Mancera and her 4-year-old daughter Jennabel Anaya, as well as the attempted murder of Mancera’s boyfriend, who is also the father of Jennabel, according to Luna.
Luna said Mancera, her boyfriend and their daughter returned home from shopping just after 10:00PM, parking their car near 9th Street and Locust Avenue in Long Beach. When they began walking toward their apartment, the mother and daughter were shot and killed by the suspect who then fired a shot at Mancera’s boyfriend before fleeing.
Colbert has been previously arrested on an assault charge in Tulsa.
Police will present the case to the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office for filing consideration tomorrow.
“Over the last three months the [LBPD has] felt and shared the pain the community felt during this horrific double murder,” Luna said. “An investigation of this magnitude that began with no leads is very difficult to work. Sometimes a case like this can take years to solve so I'm extremely proud of our police department.”
Luna said authorities have not ruled out the possibility that others were involved in the crime, for which there is no known motive at this time. A $40,000 reward is still available, which he hopes may prompt witnesses to come forward with any information—including anyone from Tulsa to Long Beach who has talked, seen or knows anything about the suspect.
“Although we have arrested a suspect in this case, our primary focus remains the successful prosecution of this suspect and that's critical,” Luna said. “We absolutely seek justice for the community and the family of Carina and Jennabel.”