By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great local journalism.
Police charge man with murder in Gainesville hotel slaying
Garcia-Flores originally sought for safety concerns, now top suspect in stabbing death

GAINESVILLE — The man Gainesville police were searching for in connection with a Jan. 10 homicide at Sun Suites Hotel has been charged with murder in the case.

Jose Garcia-Flores, 29, was initially listed as a missing person whose welfare police said may be in jeopardy.

But after he was found safely in New York, he became the primary suspect in the death of Harmon Lavender, 52, of Augusta, according to a news release from Gainesville police.

Lavender was found dead in a motel room by an employee, according to police. An autopsy showed he died of “multiple stab wounds.”

Police arrested Garcia-Flores in coordination with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. The U.S. Marshals Service brought him back to Gainesville from New York.

The investigation is still active and other charges may be forthcoming after consultation with the District Attorney’s Office, police said.