Police identify suspect and DA files charges in cold case that has haunted the Bay Area for over 30 years
District Attorney Nancy E. O’Malley has filed a criminal complaint against David Misch. The complaint charges Misch with the murder and kidnapping of Michaela Garecht on November 19, 1988, in the city of Hayward. In addition to the charge of Murder, a violation of Penal Code Section 187, the District Attorney also alleges Special Circumstances in that Michaela was murdered in the course of a kidnapping, a violation of Penal Code Section 190.2(a)(17)(ii), and the Special Circumstance of being convicted previously of murder, a violation of Penal Code Section 190.2(a)(2).

Michaela Garecht was only nine years old when she was kidnapped outside a neighborhood market in Hayward. The brazen kidnapping occurred mid-morning on the Saturday before Thanksgiving. For more than 32 years, Michaela has never been seen or heard from, nor has her body or any of her remains been found. However, fingerprints found on the scooter she was riding at the time she was abducted matched Misch’s fingerprints. Further, eyewitness evidence places Misch in the immediate location at the time the kidnapping occurred.

“The kidnap and murder of a child is horrific. The pain to the family and friends is indescribable, especially when their child is not found. This crime shocked not just the local community, but the entire Bay Area and the nation,” said DA O’Malley. “I hope that this action and announcement will provide some comfort to Michaela’s family in knowing that justice will prevail, even after 32 years since this horrible crime.”

Full Press Conference
DA O’Malley has announced that a $3.5 million stipulated judgment against Walgreen Co. (“Walgreens”) has been approved by the Alameda County Superior Court which settles allegations that Walgreens unlawfully disposed of hazardous waste in violation of state laws and injunctive terms from a 2012 stipulated judgment.

The current settlement follows an investigation by prosecutors of Walgreens’ conduct between 2013 and 2020, during which time prosecutors allege that the company improperly disposed of hazardous waste into company trash bins destined for municipal landfills that are not authorized to accept hazardous waste. The hazardous waste included items such as over-the-counter and prescription medication, electronic devices, batteries, aerosol products, cleaning agents, as well as other hazardous items generated through the company’s regular business activities. This settlement also resolves allegations that Walgreens failed to shred or otherwise destroy customer records containing confidential information before disposal.

“It is essential that we hold companies accountable for causing damage to the environment through improper disposal of hazardous waste,” said DA O’Malley. “The hard work of our prosecutors in this case will result not only in millions of dollars for environmental projects, but the creation of new practices that will lessen the company’s impact in the future.”

People v. Muhammed Abraar Ali

A jury has found Defendant Mohammed Abraar Ali guilty of murder, driving under the influence of alcohol (and over .08%) causing great bodily injury, and speeding over 100 mph.

At 11:30 pm on Christmas Eve 2017, CHP Officers Andrew Camilleri and Jonathan Velasquez were on routine patrol, parked on the shoulder of southbound Interstate 880, monitoring traffic. Defendant Ali, driving over 100 miles per hour, cut across the shoulder and slammed into the back of their vehicle, killing Officer Camilleri and injuring Officer Velasquez. Ali’s blood alcohol content was .135. Just 75 minutes earlier, in the City of Manteca, police were called to a disturbance between Ali and his wife, wherein the wife had locked the keys in the car so that he would not drive. On body camera, Ali admitted to having consumed a lot of alcohol and being very intoxicated. He promised to walk across the street, go to sleep, and “wake up tomorrow sober.” Once Manteca police left, he punched the window of his car and drove 58 miles at speeds averaging 95-105 mph. Ali was observed weaving aggressively in and out of traffic, and right before his exit, Ali accelerated and drove onto the shoulder, without regard for other motorists who might be parked there or entering the freeway in the other collector lanes. The most conservative estimate of Ali’s speed at impact was 103 mph, and the accelerator pedal was at 99% just two seconds prior to impact. Videos from a hard drive belonging to Ali showed him driving fast, driving recklessly, and joking about drag-racing after consuming alcohol. The jury found that Ali acted with implied malice and convicted him of second degree murder.

Sentencing is scheduled for January 22, 2021.

The case was prosecuted by DDA Stacie Pettigrew, with assistance from DA Inspector Joe McNiff, victim-witness advocate Jenifer Mello, as well as many other victim-witness advocates who assisted family members and CHP officers to remotely observe the proceedings, as the courtroom was closed to observers due to COVID.

Safety precautions were taken inside the courtroom to ensure that jurors, witnesses, attorneys, and court staff maintained social distancing, while always wearing face coverings.
All of us at the Alameda County District Attorney's Office wish you a wonderful New Year. May you and yours be healthy and safe.

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