Winter Springs carjacking possibly linked to Orange County deputy arrest, apartment shooting: Sheriff

The highlights

  • The suspect vehicle, a green Acura, was found Saturday at an Orange County apartment complex.
  • That vehicle is being processed for evidence.
  • Deputies believed Katherine Altagracia Guerrero De Aguasvivas was "targeted," though a motive is not known.
  • At least two "armed and dangerous" suspects remain on the loose. Deputies need the public's help to identify who they are.
  • Deputies say Katherine's husband is not considered a person of interest or suspect.
  • An Orange County deputy was arrested for allegedly trying to obtain information on the case, and the lead detective at Katherine's husband's request.
  • A tow truck driver who towed the green Acura in March was shot and killed at an apartment complex the day before Katherine was carjacked and kidnapped, though the two scenes are not officially linked.

A green Acura wanted in connection to a deadly carjacking last week in Winter Springs has been found, Seminole County Sheriff Dennis Lemma told reporters on Monday.

He provided several updates regarding the case, including the arrest of an Orange County deputy who allegedly used law enforcement resources and databases to provide updates on the case to the victim's family.

Katherine Altagracia Guerrero De Aguasvivas, 31, of Homestead, Florida, was carjacked and kidnapped at gunpoint last week at an intersection in Winter Springs. Hours later, a vehicle believed to be hers, a Dodge Durango, was found on fire at a construction site in Osceola County, and a body was inside the SUV. 

Officials believe Katherine was found dead inside that vehicle, though they're awaiting official confirmation from the Medical Examiner's Office.

Where was the green Acura found?

The Acura was found abandoned at an Orange County apartment complex and towed by a tow service. Sheriff Lemma said the VIN on the car was reported and run by officials. It was determined to be only one of three green Acuras registered in Florida, two of which were salvaged.

The sheriff said the vehicle was still titled to the original owners in Winter Springs and had been on the streets unregistered, without a legitimate license plate since approximately February. 

That vehicle is now being processed for evidence and clues.

Sheriff: ‘Armed and dangerous’ suspects still on the loose

While the vehicle was located and being processed for evidence, Sheriff Lemma said two extremely dangerous suspects remain on the loose and that detectives need the public's help to find them.

Few details have been released about the suspects.

According to witness vehicles, it appears that one of them was wearing a mask of some sort before jumping into the vehicle. 

Detectives: Acura possibly tied to Orange County murder investigation

During the early stages of the investigation into the woman's kidnapping and murder, Sheriff Lemma said detectives learned that the Acura in question was also towed on March 19 from an Orange County apartment complex after being parked illegally and that the tow truck driver was murdered on April 10, one day before the woman's kidnapping and murder last week.

The Orange County Sheriff's Office said 39-year-old Juan Luis Cintron Garcia was killed in a deadly shooting on 8th Avenue in the Taft neighborhood just before 10 p.m. last Wednesday.

"We can confirm that we believe the deadly shooting in Taft on April 10 could be related to the deadly carjacking out of Seminole County," a spokesperson for the Orange County Sheriff's Office said.

"Our detectives are working tirelessly in partnership with the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office to solve these cases and bring the perpetrators to justice."

"So it's either connected or it's a heck of a coincidence, right?" Sheriff Lemma said during a press conference. 

Physical evidence, evaluation, and reports must positively make that connection, he said.

"What we do know now is that this vehicle – our suspect's vehicle, by unique VIN number – was towed back on March 19 from the murder victim [Garcia]. At the scene, there are more than 100 rounds, but a good percentage of those rounds on the ground are 10mm," he said, noting that similar rounds were found at the Osceola County scene where Katherine's vehicle was found.

He noted that 10mm rounds are uncommon and unusual to see on the street.

Who is tow truck driver Juan Luis Cintron Garcia?

A tow truck driver who was killed in a deadly shooting last week is being remembered by family and friends.

Juan Luis Cintron Garcia, 39, has been described as a beloved husband, father, son, brother, and uncle. A service for Garcia's family and close friends is being held on Wednesday at the Good Life Funeral Home in Orlando. Loved ones said he leaves behind a legacy of "kindness," "love," and "passion." 


Juan Garcia

The Orange County Sheriff's Office said Garcia was shot on Wednesday, April 10, shortly before 10 p.m. on 8th Ave. in the Taft neighborhood. He was rushed to a local hospital, where he died.  

"I would wake up every morning and go for my jog; he would always be the first to say hello," said Shirley Montana, a neighbor.

Montana lived on the same street in the Taft neighborhood where Garcia was killed.

"He would even help me with my garbage cans, always pull them back inside for me when I wasn't home. We would always compare our cars and complement each other's cars," she said.

Orange County deputy arrested, accused of looking up information in Winter Springs carjacking investigation

An Orange County deputy was arrested Sunday on several charges after he allegedly used law enforcement resources to contact one of the detectives investigating the carjacking and death of Katherine and allegedly provided information on the investigation to Katherine's husband and brother.

Francisco Alberto Estrella Chicon, 33, was arrested by the Seminole County Sheriff's Office on Sunday night on several charges:

  • Interception of wire, oral, or electronic communication
  • Disclosure of wire, oral, or electronic communication
  • Disclosure or Use of Confidential Criminal Justice Information
  • Unlawful Use of a Two-Way Communication Device
  • Accessing Computer or Electronic Devices Without Authorization or Exceeding Authorization

The Orange County Sheriff's Office hired him in September 2022. Pending the outcome of the investigation, he has been relieved of all duties, including pay.

"These are very serious criminal allegations. It is completely unacceptable for any law enforcement officer to misuse the power and authority of their job," said Orange County Sheriff John Mina. "At the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, we hold our deputies to the highest ethical standards, and we will not tolerate anyone breaking the law within our ranks."

Seminole County Sheriff Dennis Lemma told reporters on Monday that the Orange County deputy's wife is apparently childhood friends with Katherine's husband and brother.

As the two were headed to Seminole County, Katherine's husband or brother contacted the deputy's wife and asked them to pull information on the Seminole County detective in charge of the case, Sheriff Lemma said. 

The Orange County deputy allegedly searched the detective's home address, phone number, and other information and sent that to the husband and brother. 

"The deputy then picks up the phone, calls our detective, and gives a false name, and identified himself as a detective with the Orange County Sheriff's Office wanting to get information on this case," Sheriff Lemma said. 

Seminole County detectives discovered these communications while searching the husband's cell phone. Sheriff Lemma said Katherine's husband willingly provided his cell phone and has been cooperative with the investigation.

Is Katherine's husband considered a suspect?

Sheriff Dennis Lemma said Katherine's husband is cooperating with the investigation and is not considered to be a person of interest or a suspect in the carjacking or death.

He has not been arrested or charged with any crime related to the case.

However, Sheriff Lemma said he believes the husband knows more information than he has shared.