The Mexican man suspected of stabbing a beloved youth soccer coach to death near Union Square on Sunday left behind an apology letter before fleeing the country. NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly told reporters today, "It's a note that basically makes a statement that he's sorry." Asked whether the note is a direct admission of guilt, Kelly replied, "We'll see."
Investigators discovered the note while searching the Queens apartment Orea shared with his brother. On Tuesday, 12 hours before his name was added to a "No Fly" list, Orea fled the country on a flight to Mexico out of JFK airport. Kelly says the State Department, Interpol, and the Mexican government are now cooperating with the investigation, and Orea's brother has told investigators the name of the village where he and his brother are originally from. “We will most likely be sending personnel there shortly,” Kelly said today.
Friends and family held a heartfelt memorial service yesterday for Orea's victim, 25-year-old Michael Jones, a British man who has been living in the U.S. for several years and working as a youth soccer coach for the Red Bulls. The mother of one the boys Jones coached told CBS 2, "If I was chatting with him before a game, he’d look at his watch and say ‘Gotta go. I only have a few minutes left to change their lives.' The loss that we’ve suffered is immeasurable. Mike Jones was a hero to so many kids in the community."
Lucas Kaehr, 9, who had been coached by Jones since he was 4, said, "He was more than just a great coach, he was a great friend. I loved coach Mike." Jones's father, who resides in Liverpool, is waiting for his son's body to be brought home for burial. He tells BBC, “I think we’re all really in a state of shock. It’s unbelievable.”
The Daily News reports that Orea, who was in America illegally, "has a rap sheet that includes arrests for assault in Nassau County and for violating an order of protection taken out by the mother of his child." The News also notes that Mexico has an extradition treaty with the U.S. in situations where there is no risk of the death penalty, which is not an option in New York State.