Police believe Garcia and Benzinger had a sexual relationship before the murder.
A police source told the Daily News that Garcia stole the victim’s wallet and cell phone and that detectives use cell phone recordsto track the suspect down. Garcia implicated himself in the crime by admitting he was at the motel, the source said.
Benzinger was found at the Crown Motor Inn in Elmhurst on Saturday with a shirt wrapped around his neck — he is the third gay man strangled in recent weeks, although police said they do not think the murders were related.
Last month, David Rangel, 53, was killed in his Jackson Heights, Queens, apartment Jan. 26, and Charles Romo, 48, was slain in his Hamilton Heights apartment two days later.Both those murders remain unsolved.