Suspect held over murder of coach
THE dad of a popular football coach killed in the USA has welcomed the arrest of a suspect in his son’s death.
Michael Jones, 25, from Tarleton, was stabbed in New York almost six years ago in an attack believed to have been a case of mistaken identity.
Perry Jones now hopes the breakthrough in the investigation will lead to justice for his son.
Last week Orlando Orea – named as a suspect in the aftermath of the 2012 tragedy – was detained in Mexico, the day after two federal agents were shot dead during an operation to bring him into custody.
Mr Jones welcomed the breakthrough, while acknowledging the sad news of the agents’ deaths.
He said: “I’m pleased to hear of the arrest and that hopefully, eventually, some justice will be served.
“It has taken almost six years but it is good to know finally the efforts of those involved have had a positive result with the arrest, although of course from the reports, so far, not without further loss of life.
“We now just wait and watch as the legal process proceeds through and see what any final outcome is.”
Orea went on the run after the brutal attack on a New York street led to the death of Mr Jones.
Michael had crossed the Atlantic to work as a junior football coach for the New York Red Bulls.
New York Police Department officers were unable to question Orea after he fled to Mexico.
Michael’s killing prompted touching tributes at that time in the village where he grew up, and in the US – where ex-Everton star Tim Cahill and Thierry Henry were present as Mr Jones’s family were guests of honour at a Red Bulls game.
As police hunted his killer, the initial investigation led to Orea being considered a suspect.
But New York police officers were unable to question him after he fled to Mexico.
It is believed he was able to fly there after buying a plane ticket before being added to a “no fly” list.
The NYPD murder investigation saw officers travel to Mexico, Orea’s homeland, to try and trace him.
But last year, as the fifth anniversary of Mr Jones’ death passed, family members admitted they were starting to come to terms with the possibility that Orea would never be questioned.
That has now changed as a result of this week’s breakthrough – but it came with more tragedy.
Associated Press reported that Orea, who also goes by the names Orlando Gutierrez and Orlando Estevez, was arrested without a struggle on Thursday in Puebla state, Mexico.
He is believed to have family in that part of the country.
But it was also reported that his arrest came after two Mexican federal agents were killed on Wednesday during an operation to detain him.
A third agent is also thought to have been shot at in the operation, which is said to have been launched following tipoffs.
That incident led to a search by police and troops and his capture.