Murder Suspect Arrested After 31 Years In Connection with 1981 Murder Investigation NR12227bb

May 17, 2012

Los Angeles:  Los Angeles Police Department Newton Homicide, Due Diligence Team located and arrested 73-year-old Abraham Tovar, a resident of Alhambra, for the 1981 murder of Charles McGhee.

On January 1, 1981, around 11:50 p.m., 36-year-old Charles McGhee was shot and beat to death in a vacant lot located in the 2300 block of South Central Avenue, in the city of Los Angeles.

Investigators discovered that the suspects, Andrew and Abraham Tovar (Brothers) had a dispute earlier in the day with an unknown person in the vacant lot.  Armed with a handgun and a hatchet, the Tovar brothers returned to the lot for revenge.  However, the brothers were unable to find the person they were looking for so they turned their anger towards Charles McGhee and Wayne Alexis.  Abraham shot both victims, killing McGhee at scene.  Alexis survived his gunshot wound and testified against Andrew Tovar who served state prison time and has since passed away.  Abraham Tovar was never brought to justice and remained a fugitive from the law for 31 years.

On May 16, 2012, around 8:30 a.m., Newton Homicide, Due Diligence Team located Abraham Tovar residing in the city of Alhambra and arrested him on the outstanding felony homicide warrant.  The Due Diligence Team concluded a several-month investigation that resulted in two search warrants being issued, several days of surveillance, and numerous interviews with the suspect’s family members and friends in order to locate and apprehend him.  This is a perfect example of how, sooner or later, the long arms of the law will catch up with criminals.

Anyone wishing to report a crime can remain anonymous by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477). Tipsters may also contact Crime Stoppers by texting to phone number 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S on most keypads) with a cell phone.  All text messages should begin with the letters “LAPD.”  Tipsters may also go to, click on "webtips" and follow the prompts.