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Nampa man charged in kidnapping, murder of 22-year-old

Luis Garcia was discovered lying unconscious in a Caldwell driveway the morning after his family said he was abducted by men who demanded a $2,000 ransom.
Credit: Canyon County Jail
Tomas Pina Sarmiento

NAMPA, Idaho — A Nampa man has been arrested in the kidnapping and killing of a young man who was found unconscious in front of a Caldwell home last week. 

Tomas Pina Sarmiento, 25, is charged with first-degree murder, kidnapping, and destruction of evidence in the death of 22-year-old Luis Garcia.

Garcia was discovered lying in the driveway of a Boise Avenue home on Nov. 6, the morning after his family told police he had been kidnapped by two unknown men. Garcia was still alive when he was found, but had serious injuries including a major head injury and large cuts on his abdomen and leg. He was taken by ambulance to Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center, where he died from his wounds days later.

Garcia's cause of death is listed as blunt force trauma. 

According to a criminal complaint, Sarmiento helped abduct the man, then deliberately killed him "by beating him in the head from which he died." Afterwards, according to the complaint, Sarmiento tried to cover up the killing by hiding or destroying clothing, bedding, and blood evidence from the crime. 

According to a heavily-redacted probable cause affidavit filed in the case, Garcia had been kidnapped from Walmart, blindfolded and tied up, and taken to a residence in Nampa, where witnesses said he was beaten by three men and hit with a golf club. Detectives say a relative received a call from Garcia saying he was "in trouble" and needed money, before the phone was taken by an unknown male who said "they needed $2,000 and that if he did not give them the $2,000, something bad would happen" to Garcia. 

Credit: Caldwell Police
Luis Garcia

The family member said the kidnappers did not give any specific instructions or timeline.

Officials have not released a motive in the kidnapping or killing. So far, Sarmiento is the only person charged in the case. Nampa Police Lt. Jason Kimball told KTVB that the homicide remains under investigation, and more arrests are possible. 

Anyone with information about Garcia's kidnapping and death, or who knows who may have been involved, is urged to contact Nampa Police. 

According to court records, Sarmiento had been released from custody just two days before the kidnapping. He had been sentenced to seven years in prison in a 2020 purse-snatching case, but was placed on retained jurisdiction, and ordered freed on probation Nov. 3 after eight months in the rider program. 

After Sarmiento's arrest for the murder of Garcia, his probation officer pointed to the case as a reason that the suspect's probation should be revoked. 

"[He is] currently the prime suspect of a homicide that occurred in Nampa," probation and parole officer Zachary Godsill wrote in a Nov. 12 filing. "He also overdosed and was in the hospital the same night he checked in for supervision."

Sarmiento remains held in the Canyon County Jail on a $1 million dollar bond, and is due to appear in court Nov. 24 for a preliminary hearing. 

First-degree murder is punishable by up to life in prison or the death penalty.

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