KLAS VEGAS — A Las Vegas-area teenager who had been sought in the U.S. and along the Mexican border following the butcher knife slayings of his mother and younger brother last week was arrested Wednesday, sitting alone at an open-air food court near the Las Vegas Strip.
Henderson police said detectives got a tip that Adrian Navarro-Canales, 16, was seen in the same food court late Tuesday, no more than nine miles from his suburban apartment where the bloody bodies of his mother and brother were found in the bathroom on Friday.
Navarro-Canales offered no resistance when he was arrested by Henderson police about 10:30 a.m., police spokesman Keith Paul said in prepared statement.
A warrant issued Monday accuses Navarro-Canales of killing his mother, Elvira Canales-Gomez, and 9-year-old brother, Cesar Navarro.
Paul said Navarro-Canales was booked into the juvenile holding area at the Clark County Detention Center in downtown Las Vegas to await an initial court appearance. Authorities say he will be tried as an adult due to the seriousness of the crime.
Henderson police say the mom was found with multiple stab wounds and a butcher knife in her chest. The boy was stabbed once in the chest and was found in the bathtub.
Officers had gone to the apartment door three times earlier — once Sept. 18 and twice on Thursday — at the request of the Canales-Gomez’s niece, Ana Martinez, and Canales-Gomez’s boyfriend, Carlos Rubio-Villanueva. No one went inside until Friday.
Police now think the killings happened Sept. 17 — sometime after the mom picked up the 9-year-old from school and a day after the mom, the two boys and Rubio-Villanueva celebrated Navarro-Canales’ 16th birthday.
Police initially named Navarro-Canales as a possible victim, not a suspect. The Associated Press typically doesn’t identify minors accused of crimes, but is naming Navarro-Canales because of the seriousness of the crime and the search for him.
Martinez, 23, told police she thought her cousin might have returned at least once to the apartment last weekend, using a key to enter after the bodies were taken away.
Paul said police don’t believe that happened.
Martinez told investigators her cousin didn’t have any friends that she knew of in the Las Vegas area, didn’t like living in the United States and wanted to go back to Mexico. She described Navarro-Canales as anti-social, and said he spent most of his time in the apartment playing video games.
Navarro-Canales is enrolled as a junior at Coronado High School in Henderson, but hadn’t attended classes since school began in August, Clark County School District spokeswoman Melinda Malone said.
A police report said the teen’s passport and border documents were found in the apartment off Eastern Avenue and Sunridge Heights Parkway. The mother’s vehicle was found parked outside.
The teen’s father, Adrian Navarro Soto-Mayor, flew from San Jose. Calif., to Las Vegas and issued a plea last weekend in Spanish for his son to contact him or other family members.