NEW YORK — The man suspected of brutally murdering a beloved youth soccer coach penned an apology for the killing before fleeing to Mexico, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said Thursday.
"It's a note that basically makes a statement that he's sorry," Kelly said, according to the New York Post.
Police discovered the note while searching the Queens home of Orlando Orea, the prime suspect in the murder, an NYPD spokesman said.
Police believe Orea, 32, got into a dispute at a bar on 14th Street early last Sunday morning and then encountered Michael Jones, 25, talking on a phone roughly a block away. Orea is believed to have mistaken Jones for someone involved in the earlier dispute, police said.
The two exchanged words before Orea shoved Jones against a wall and stabbed him to death, police believe.
Asked if the note could be used to show that Orea admitted his guilt, Kelly reportedly replied, “We’ll see.”
Orea paid cash for a one-way flight from JFK Airport to Mexico City and fled the country Tuesday morning, sources said.
He is now believed to be hiding in Puebla, just outside of Mexico City, sources said.
"We will be sending people down shortly to apprehend him," an NYPD source said.
Neighbors at the Ridgewood apartment building where Orea lived with his brother said Orea had seemed odd.
"I’ve seen him just a couple times, but he seemed like a weird guy,” said neighbor Karen Espinoza, 18. “Every time I’d see him I’d always be freaked.”
News of Orea’s apologetic note comes a day after friends and colleagues gathered to mourn Jones at the First Baptist Church in White Plains.
Jones had worked for the New York Red Bulls as a youth soccer coach in Westchester. Many of the roughly 400 mourners donned soccer jerseys with his nickname, “Jonesey,” emblazoned on the back.