Police searching for person of interest related to Oklahoma woman’s gruesome murder

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STEPHENS COUNTY, Okla. - Authorities want to speak with a man in connection to a murder in a rural area between Marlow and Duncan.

Police found the body of 20-year-old Linda Salazar in a shed behind a home near Shamrock Rd. and S. McKinley Rd.

Investigators say her throat had been slit.

Officers believe she was killed sometime Saturday.

She was reported missing the next day, and the caller told Marlow police to check several places, including the rural home.

Homicide investigators arrived on the scene Monday morning and made the gruesome discovery.

The Stephens County Sheriff's Office is now looking for 25-year-old Balthazar Sanchez-Garcia, whom it describes as a person of interest.

"We have reason to believe that person may not necessarily be the suspect," said Sheriff Wayne McKinney, "but may have some information leading to what caused the death of this particular person."

Sanchez-Garcia is described as 5'8", 165 pounds and is Hispanic. The sheriff says he is driving Salazar's 2005 white GMC Yukon with the Oklahoma tag 444-AFH.

"I consider him to be armed and dangerous," McKinney said. "If you happen to see this vehicle or see this person, call 911 immediately."

Salazar and Sanchez-Garcia knew each other, McKinney said, though he wouldn't elaborate.

McKinney says that Sanchez-Garcia is no stranger to the sheriff's office, adding that he's been in the jail several times. Court records show a 2012 charge for driving without a license. The arresting officer reported finding a Mexican license, but no U.S. license.

The sheriff says he has tried to have Sanchez-Garcia, an illegal immigrant, deported on multiple occasions.

"We believe that the vehicle is headed to the Texas area, possibly working its way toward Mexico," he said.

Salazar's family, meanwhile, is mourning the loss of the young woman they loved so dearly and describe to NewsChannel 4 as a "great person."

Salazar worked as a certified nurse's aid at a Duncan nursing and rehab center and leaves behind a young child.

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