28-year old Adam Matos has been arrested in Tampa, Florida following a police manhunt after four bodies were discovered 45 miles away in nearby Hudson. Matos had been staying at the Floridian Palace Hotel with a 4-year old boy believed to be his son.
Matos had used his real name to check in and police managed to trick him into leaving his hotel room so that they could rescue the youngster, Ismael Tristan Santisteban. A DNA test is expected to reveal whether or not Matos is the biological father of the boy, whom he allegedly abducted from his mother, who reported Matos had threatened her physically.
Police officials say that Matos is their one and only suspect in the killing of four individuals. Although police would not release the names of the deceased, local news media identified them as 27-year old Megan Brown, her parents Greg and Margaret Brown, and Nicholas Leonard, whose relationship to the other slain individuals is not known. Until recently, all of the group, in addition to Matos, had resided in the Lehigh Valley region of eastern Pennsylvania. Margaret Brown and her husband were owners of a dog kennel there that had recently lost its license to operate due to their hiring an employee who had a record of criminal animal abuse.
As officers led Matos, 28, to a cruiser, he told reporters he had nothing to do with the killings.
“I love my son and I hope that he’s safe right now,” he said.
A neighbor who had rented the home in Tampa to the Browns when they relocated, report that Megan Brown had dated Matos. Pennsylvania court records indicate he had numerous previous arrests in Pennsylvania.
Matos came to the attention of Pasco County deputies on Aug. 28 when his ex-girlfriend, who is the child’s mother, called to report that Matos held a knife to her throat at the Hudson home.
Matos was not at the house when deputies arrived.
Family members asked deputies on Thursday morning to check the house, which is in a remote, wooded area, when they could not reach anyone there.
Deputies found blood in the garage, Snow said. In a search of the area, deputies saw birds flying and smelled decomposition. They found the bodies nearby.
They used cell phone records to track Matos to Tampa, where SWAT teams from Pasco County and the Tampa Police Department took Matos into custody, authorities said.
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