Hollister resident David Jose Quiroz on Aug. 10 pleaded no contest to first-degree murder in the death of Heather Carroll in 2012. He faces a minimum sentence of 25 years to life in prison and would not be eligible for parole for at least a quarter-century. Formal sentencing will take place in September.
The San Benito County District Attorney’s Office reports that Quiroz entered his plea stemming from his arrest by Hollister Police in 2012 for the homicide of Carroll, who was 25.
On Oct. 10, 2012, Carroll was last seen on the morning of Oct. 10, 2012 dropping off her child at school in Hollister. She did not return to the school that afternoon to pick up her child and was subsequently reported missing by her father, who lives out of state. Family and friends conducted extensive searches for Carroll in and around the city and the county of San Benito. The next day, her burning vehicle was located on Enterprise Road and Glenview Drive in Hollister. On Oct. 13, Quiroz, a friend of Heather's and her husband, was arrested in connection to her disappearance after a standoff with police at his home on Cerra Vista Drive.
The body of Carroll was later discovered hidden on the property at Cerra Vista Drive. During the initial interviews with police, Quiroz told investigators Carroll had died at his home on the morning of her disappearance after they got into an argument.
“I would like to thank all the assisting agencies for their collaborative efforts in reaching this conclusion and I would once again offer my condolences to the family of Heather Carroll,” San Benito County District Attorney Candice Hooper said in a press release, in which the D.A.'s office and the Hollister Police Department thanked following agencies that assisted in the case: The Gilroy PD/Morgan Hill PD SWAT Team and San Benito County deputies who assisted with the standoff and the arrest of Quiroz. The UNET Task Force who assisted in the surveillance of the suspect and the standoff. The Hollister officers and detectives that investigated the case and the Department of Justice Forensic Team who assisted in the processing the crime scene and documenting evidence.