ATTLEBORO, Mass. (WPRI) — A murder suspect who spent nearly three decades on the run finally answered for his alleged crime on Tuesday.

Mario Garcia, 51, was ordered held without bail on a murder charge stemming from the 1991 death of 29-year-old Ismael Recinos-Garcia in Attleboro. He pleaded not guilty.

Ismael Recinos-Garcia

Garcia is accused of stabbing Recinos-Garcia to death following an argument at a bar. Shortly after the men left the bar, prosecutors said Garcia went home, grabbed a butcher knife, then made his way to Recinos-Garcia’s house.

Garcia acted as if he was going to apologize before stabbing Recinos-Garcia in the chest, according to prosecutors.

Garcia, who was 19 at time, was able to elude capture for nearly three decades. It wasn’t until he was added to the state’s most wanted list of fugitives in 2021 that investigators received intel on where he might be hiding.

Detectives traced Garcia to his native Guatemala last December, where he was found living under an alias on a shrimp farm.

Garcia returned to the United States last week to face a judge. It was a moment that Recinos-Garcia’s daughter never thought would come.

“My father was a hard-working man who loved his family and had come here for a better life,” Delia Recinos said. “His life was cut short by someone he considered a friend.”

Recinos, who was 3 years old when her father was killed, is relieved that justice will finally be served.

“My father deserved a much better way out of this life than the one he got,” she said. “Bleeding out on the street wasn’t the way he was supposed to go. He was supposed to grow old with us and he was supposed to have grandchildren.”

Garcia’s next court date is scheduled for June. Prosecutors said in court that several witnesses are prepared to testify should the case go to trial.