NEW YORK — The three NYPD detectives who were sent to Mexico to help with the search for the man suspected of brutally stabbing a soccer coach to death in Union Square were on their way home Thursday, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said.
Orlando Orea, 32, flew from JFK Airport to Mexico City two days after the Oct. 7 attack, and the NYPD followed to help the Mexican police with the case. Orea remains at large.
"They received excellent cooperation from the Mexican authorities. They worked with Interpol in Mexico City as well," Kelly said. "They have lots of points of contact they are going to stay in communication with, and the search for this individual is ongoing."
Orea is suspected of stabbing Michael Jones, 25, a New York Red Bulls youth soccer coach, after confronting Jones at 14th Street and Fifth Avenue early in the morning of Oct. 7, police said.
Jones, a British native who lived in West Harrison, N.Y., was stabbed in the head, neck, chest and stomach about 4:30 a.m. Orea allegedly chopped off Jones’ ear as well, before leaving him bleeding in the street, police said.
Police suspect the stabbing was a case of mistaken identity, in which Orea incorrectly believed he recognized Jones from a dispute in a bar earlier in the evening, police said.
Orea, a Queens resident, paid cash for his Aero Mexico ticket two days later and bought it just before boarding — hours before police uncovered his name in their investigation and placed him on a no-fly list, sources said.
The NYPD has been in contact with state, federal and Mexican authorities to coordinate efforts to track Orea down, Kelly said.