A 22-year-old Puerto Rican man is facing murder and burglary charges in the stabbing death of a Beavercreek man as he and his family were ending the final day of their two-week vacation in the resort of Rincón.
Agents with the Criminal Investigation Corps Aguadilla area found the suspect, John P. Carela Acevedo, who was staying with his family in the public housing complex, Villas Rincon Apartments, at about 12:45 a.m. Saturday, according to the newspapers El Nuevo Dia and Primera Hora.
Acevedo is accused of killing Brett Walquist, 41.
Police said Walquist fought with Acevedo after the man allegedly broke into the family’s rental apartment unit about 1:45 a.m. Monday. Police said Walquist died from multiple stab wounds. Acevedo is charged with first-degree murder, burglary and destruction of evidence, according to the newspapers.
Police commander Col. Miguel Rosado noted the work of his staff and the cooperation from local residents as keys to arresting Acevedo six days after the murder.
Walquist family expressed gratitude for the police work and relief that an arrest has been made.
“We’re very happy to hear there was some movement in the case,” said the victim’s brother, Brian Walquist, who lives in Grand Rapids, Mich. “Right now, we’re focused on getting his body back here. We don’t have that yet.”
Walquist, his family, his father Carl, and his sister’s family spent the holiday vacationing in Puerto Rico. The Walquist were scheduled to leave 3 p.m. Monday.
Police said Acevedo, who has a criminal record, was surprised when agents arrested him at his family’s apartment unit. At the time of his arrest, police said Acevedo had a dislocated arm, apparently injured during his fight with Walquist. Acevedo was treated at Good Samaritan Hospital in Aguadilla.
Police said Acevedo was recently released from the Aguadilla Guerrero Jail after being charged in another crime. On Nov. 14, Acevedo had been sent to prison for not paying a $10,000 bail for a burglary charge. But police told the newspapers they have not determined why Acevedo was released.
Since his Saturday’s arrest, Rosado said Acevedo has been cooperating with the authorities. In 2011, Acevedo was arrested on a drug possession charge and released after posting $ 2,500 for bail.
Police said Acevedo was attempting to burglarize the Walquist’s rental unit in the Arena y Mar Apartments early Monday. When Walquist heard noises, he found the intruder, who used a knife from the kitchen to fight off Walquist before fatally stabbing him in his neck, left shoulder, back and jugular.
Before the intruder fled the apartment, Walquist’s wife, Gerry, rushed and grabbed the attacker, but he managed to escape through a window. Neither she nor the couple’s two children were injured in the attack. Police said they had recovered fingerprints from the apartment unit.
Police said they were able to identify Acevedo as a prime suspect after reviewing several security cameras in the area that were close to the apartment complex where the Walquist family was staying. During the attack, the suspect also left a baseball cap with a wooden brim at the apartment, and surveillance video captured images similar to Acevedo’s description, police said.
Police said the man has told them where he hid the knife, though neither the weapon nor the clothes Acevedo wore have been recovered, according to the newspaper.
Prosecutor Hector Lopez told the newspapers he planned to file charges against Acevedo.
Walquist worked in Beavercreek as the Midwest representative for J&B Importers, a national wholesale distributor of bicycles, parts and accessories. He previously worked in his family’s business, Alger Bikes in Grand Rapids, which is now run by his brother.
Brian Walquist’s wife, Paula, said her brother-in-law was a family man who lived an active lifestyle and was a devoted Michigan Wolverine football fan.
“He just was so involved with his children,” she said. “They were (the) closest family you ask for. All his energy and time went into raising these great kids.”
Funeral services are pending at this time. However, Walquist’s brother said visitation and burial services will be held in Grand Rapids, where Walquist grew up.
Staff writer Meagan Pant contributed to this report.