NEW YORK – The main suspect in the gruesome murder of a 25-year-old youth soccer coach in New York City wrote an apology letter before fleeing the country.
On Thursday the New York Post reported that alleged killer Orlando Orea left behind a note apologizing for the gruesome murder of Michael Jones.
"It's a note that basically makes a statement that he's sorry," New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said.
The letter was discovered while police were executing a warrant to look for further evidence at the Queens home Orea shared with his brother.
Since Orea fled to Mexico on Tuesday, the NYPD have been in contact with Mexican authorities and are "doing everything we can" to bring him back to New York to face justice.
Also known as Orlando Gutierrez or Orlando Estevas, Orea is believed to have slashed and sliced the ear off of Jones, leaving his ravaged body on a city street.
On Tuesday morning Orea bought a one-way ticket on an Aero Mexico flight with cash moments before it was scheduled to leave from Kennedy International Airport, according to the official, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing.
Detectives discovered Orea's name at about 4:45 p.m. Tuesday and immediately placed him on a no-fly list, but he was already gone, the official said. Orea, 32, is suspected of killing Jones at about 4:30 a.m. Sunday after the two men were seen together, possibly arguing, on 14th Street in Union Square, one of Manhattan's busiest neighborhoods, the official said.
Jones had been out with his girlfriend earlier but they parted around midnight, police said. Officers were called to the bloody scene where Jones lay on the street. He was taken to Bellevue Hospital where he was pronounced dead. The Liverpool, England, native was a coach with the New York Red Bulls Youth Training Program. He lived in West Harrison, in Westchester County.
Police late Sunday released surveillance footage of the suspected slasher, a man with a ponytail wearing a dark jacket. The motive remains unclear, but it's possible it was a case of mistaken identity, police said. The suspect, who lived in Queens, was in an earlier fight at a nearby bar that may have involved a woman. And he was apparently seen by witnesses with a knife in the bar, the official said. The suspect left, then encountered Jones on the street.
It's not clear what, if any, ties Orea has to Mexico.
The New York Red Bulls, a Major League Soccer team, plan to hold a memorial Wednesday in Westchester County.
Jones' father, Perry, 50, of Tarleton, near Liverpool, told the New York Daily News that he wanted his son's body returned to England.
"We just want to get Mike back here as quickly as we can really and finish off what's going on in America," Jones told the newspaper.
Based on reporting by the Associated Press.