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“We can’t go into criminal history,” Fairfax County Police Department spokeswoman Lucy Caldwell said.

Ms. Vaughan speculated that had local authorities held Mr. Blanco-Garcia long enough to give ICE officials time to take him into custody, he could have been deported from the country before Pham’s killing. But at the very least, if he had remained in the country but been fingerprinted, Ms. Vaughan suspects that local law enforcement would not have had to wait more than two years to find their suspect.

“Had they shown more interest in the person and bothered to take his fingerprints, he could have been removed,” she said. “Unfortunately that scenario is happening too frequently around the country. This case should be a lesson for improvements that can and should be made.”