Miami police are warning residents to remain vigilant as authorities search for the murderer or murderers who left the body of former model Paula Sladewski burned beyond recognition in a Dumpster.
"This was obviously a very brutal, sadistic murder," Lt. Neal Cuevas of the North Miami Police Department told Fox News on Monday. "There’s a person or persons out there who could very well commit another murder."
Police are now searching for an unidentified man who witnesses say met Sladewski, 26, outside a Miami nightclub hours before her body was found in a Dumpster.
Cuevas confirmed to FoxNews.com that video surveillance captured Sladewski leaving the club at 7:21 a.m. on Jan. 3. — approximately 14 hours before her body was found burned beyond recognition in a trash bin. Sladewski is seen in the video being escorted out of the club by two bouncers.
Sladewski's body was found 10 to 12 miles away from the nightclub in a residential area, Cuevas told Fox News.
Investigators are looking for a "black male" who eyewitnesses say walked away from the front of the club with Sladewski, Cuevas told FoxNews.com. He said the man was not in the club.
Sladewski, a former Playboy model, was last seen partying with her boyfriend, Kevin Klym, at a Miami nightclub.
Klym, 34, has since become a target of suspicion — partly because an ex-boyfriend said Sladewski had been sending him text messages during the time she was dating Klym saying he was “trying to kill" her.
“She used to text me all the time in trouble asking for help,” ex-boyfriend David Coleman told FoxNews.com.
Coleman could not provide FoxNews.com with copies of the text messages because he said North Miami police detectives were using them as part of their investigation.
Coleman said the last time he heard from Sladewski, who appeared in the video "Playboy: The Ultimate Playmate Search," was in a text message she sent him after midnight on New Year’s Eve. He said there was nothing alarming about her message and he said it didn’t make it seem like she was drunk.
Coleman, who lives in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., 10 minutes from the home of Sladewski and Klym, said he and Sladewski dated in the late 1990s and had remained close friends. “We always had each other’s backs,” Coleman said.
FoxNews.com found Coleman's name, meanwhile, on California's sex offenders registry for an unknown offense.
Coleman said there seemed to be a lot of drama in the Klym-Sladewski relationship. The latest incident involved Klym allegedly punching Sladewski and breaking her nose during an argument at a Michigan hotel while the couple was visiting her family. Sladewski was subpoenaed to testify last Monday in the case.
An assault charge against Sladewski, alleging she cracked a bottle over Klym’s head, was dropped last month.
FoxNews.com also learned that Klym reportedly was arrested in 2008 during a drug bust in Warren, Mich., in which he was charged with cocaine possession.
Cuevas had previously said that Klym remains a person of interest in their investigation.
Klym told police that he and Sladewski got into a verbal altercation at a Miami club, and said that body guards escorted him out and would not let him back into the club, said Cuevas.
Klym said he tried to get Sladewski to leave the club because he thought she was too drunk, setting off a heated argument that ended with his getting kicked out of the club. He said Sladewski didn’t want to leave and stayed inside, according to Cuevas.
Cuevas told FoxNews.com that police were able to confirm Klym’s account of when and how he got back to his Miami hotel from the club. Klym told police that he took a taxi back to his hotel.
Sladewski’s stepfather, Richard Watkins, who lives in Michigan with Sladewski's mother, told FoxNews.com that he wasn't surprised to hear that Sladewski's boyfriend was named a person of interest.
"They had a horrible relationship," said Watkins. "I have told them from the start that they shouldn’t be together."
The North Miami Police Department asks anyone with information to contact Crime Stoppers at 305-471-8477.
FoxNews.com's Ali Reed, Sky News, and MyFoxDetroit.com contributed to this report.