The main suspect in the disappearance and murder of a Los Gatos woman who vanished more than 10 years ago was pinned Wednesday morning as her killer by the county's top prosecutor.
There's no recourse that can be taken against for the murder of Jeanine Harms, because he's dead, killed in January by her brother, Wayne Sanchez, in a murder-suicide in San Jose.
The indictment against Nasmeh came after Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen revealed results of a private lab's extensive testing of fiber evidence from a Persian rug missing from Harms' home, which was found in the cargo area of Nasmeh's Jeep Cherokee.
"There is simply no innocent explanation for how those fibers were deposited in that location," said the DA's report on the investigation, released Wednesday. "Although Nasmeh and Ms. Sanchez-Harms drove in that vehicle to the store to buy beer, it defies common sense that such an errand could result in the transfer of so many fibers from Ms. Sanchez-Harms' apartment.
"Even if Nasmeh came into contact with the cargo area of his vehicle following that evening," the report added, "the absence of fibers from Ms. Sanchez-Harms' apartment of the driver’s seat is inconsistent with Nasmeh himself being responsible for an innocent transfer."
Many of Harms' friends, who attended the news conference Wednesday morning at Rosen's office, weren't surprised by the findings, saying they believed all along that Nasmeh had killed their friend.
Rosen said he believes Nasmeh wrapped Harms body with the rug after he killed her, and then placed her in his car.
Illinois-based Microtrace, LLC, microscopist Skip Palenik concluded, "It is almost inconceivable that a collection of such distinctive fibers could have accumulated by mere random chance." The report on the investigation added, "In short, there is simply no innocent explanation for so many fibers from the Persian and latch hook rugs to be found in the vehicle, and their presence is proof that the Persian rug was in the cargo area of Nasmeh's vehicle."
After Sanchez killed Nasmeh in January and then turned the gun on himself, pressure was placed on authorities to finalize their investigation into the fibers, being tested since 2008 without any conclusive finding.
Harms disappeared July 27, 2001. Los Gatos-Monte Sereno police detectives investigated the case. They located her car in the driveway of her Los Gatos townhouse, her personal belongings and a rug that police and prosecutors believe was the same one taken from Harms' residence when she disappeared.
After serving almost three years in jail for her murder, Nasmeh, however, was freed when the Santa Clara County Crime Lab tests of the evidence were deemed unreliable.
Nasmeh's friends and family, some who were present during the conference, were disheartened with the news. They said they don't believe he did it, but they felt all along the fiber investigation would point the finger at their deceased relative.
Police Chief Scott Seaman was present during the news conference this morning along with Capt. Alana Forrest, Sgt. Steve Walpole and Capt. Dave Gravel.
To read the complete Santa Clara County District Attorney's and Microtrace reports on the Sanchez-Harms' homicide, please see the two attachments with this story.
Daniel Gamberg contributed to this report.