Albuquerque bike shop asks for public’s help following tragic murder

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Joe Garcia and his daughter Isabel worked on building and paying off her dream bicycle for a year. However, just two days after they finally got to take it home, Joe was killed and the special bike was stolen.

Joe first visited The Bike Coop, located near the University of New Mexico, for the first time in 2020 to buy a bike for his youngest son.

“From kind of the first time he came in, he was just a really genuine guy,” said Amanda Batty, the owner of The Bike Coop.

Joe quickly became a regular.

“He came in once a week, but I don’t recall him ever spending money on himself,” she said.

Joe had a mission to give his children the same opportunity he had when he was younger.

“If you knew where Joe was when he was a kid, you would find his bike. That’s where he was at,” said Lisa Urban, Joe’s sister. “He got his little one into a Strider to start learning how to ride a bike. Then he built a bike with his daughter Isabel.”

Together, Joe and Isabel spent a year building her perfect bike.

“Isabel’s bike was hers,” Batty said. “Like it was everything about it. I mean, and that’s kind of the most heartbreaking thing is they picked it up on Saturday, June 11, and Joe was killed on Monday, June 13.”

Joe’s sister said he was found shot to death near his home. Albuquerque police are investigating his death as a homicide, but did not release information on a suspect.

Joe’s family believes the person responsible did not stop at taking his life.

“There were things that were taken,” Urban said. “I made a quilt for my brother, for my sister, for all of my mom’s grandchildren, and that was taken, a guitar, his clothes, some shoes, Isabel’s bike.”

Now, the family is asking for the public’s help to keep an eye out for Isabel’s bike. They’re hoping that finding it could lead to more information on Joe’s death.

“It’s a really, really unique bike,” Batty said. “I mean, it was hand painted, it’s black and copper metallic, it has a number of really custom things about it. From, you know, the crank set and the chain ring up front, to the head tube that says The Bike Coop. If we can’t bring her dad back, the least we can do is try to get her the bike that they built together.”

To make a donation to the Garcia family for funeral expenses, click here.