Shortly after his arrest in a Tampa hotel early Friday, the suspect in a quadruple murder and kidnapping of his alleged 4-year-old son claimed he is innocent.
Adam Matos, 28, spoke to reporters gathered at the Floridian Hotel, where he was staying with his 4-year-old son, who is autistic.
When asked if he killed the four people whose bodies were found Thursday at a nearby home, he calmly said “No.”
“Do you know who killed them?” was the next question, to which he also replied just “No.”
He said he took the boy “because he is my son.”
“I love my son and I hope he is safe right now,” he said collectedly.
The operation was conducted jointly by a SWAT team from the Pasco County Sheriff's Office and the Tampa Police Department.
The search for Matos and the boy, Ismael Tristan Santisteban, began Thursday after Pasco County Sheriff's deputies conducting a welfare check at a home found the four bodies. The deputies found no one at the home but noticed a horrible odor. They walked down the street toward an area where birds were circling and found four bodies.
The autistic boy, who lived in the home, hadn't been seen in a week. This led deputies to the home and eventually, to the grisly discovery.
According to Fox 13, Matos was taken into custody Friday shortly after 6 a.m., and the boy was found safe.
Tampa Police Chief Jane Castor said they found him in a room on the 18th floor of the hotel located in downtown Tampa.
"Everybody, from the public calling in to law enforcement to the personnel at the hotel, all worked together to ensure this came to a safe conclusion," said chief Castor. "We're just glad the little boy is safe."
Castor said officials used a ruse to get Matos out of the room, away from the 4-year-old boy and into custody — "all with safety in mind," she said.
Before Matos made it to the hotel, Castor said he was spotted at different bus stops downtown. He did not have a bus ticket on him, but investigators believe he may have been inquiring about one.
Deputies booked Matos at the Hillsborough County Jail before he makes his first appearance in court Saturday.
As for the boy, Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco told Fox 13 he is in the care of the sheriff's office and the police department.
Deputies have not released the names of the four victims.
Based on reporting by myfoxorlando.com and The Associated Press.