Sus­pect held over mur­der of coach

Ormskirk Advertiser - - Front Page - BY JOE THOMAS joe.thomas@reach­plc.com @joe_thomas18

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.

Michael Jones pic­tured on a tour of An­field

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