Nevada teen arrested, charged as an adult in killings of mother, brother

Posted at 4:43 PM, Sep 25, 2013
and last updated 2013-09-25 18:43:48-04
By Michael Martinez and Jake Carpenter


(CNN) — A 16-year-old Nevada boy sought in the killings of his younger brother and mother was taken into custody Wednesday morning by detectives, Henderson police said.

The teen was found sitting in an open-air food court near the heart of the Las Vegas Strip, close to the intersection of Las Vegas Boulevard and Tropicana Avenue, about 10:30 a.m., police spokesman Keith Paul told CNN.

Detectives arrested him without incident.

A judge formally signed an arrest warrant Monday charging the suspect as an adult with two counts of murder.

The youth was initially thought to have been a possible victim following the killing his mother and brother, but he became a suspect in the case, police said Tuesday.

His mother and brother were found stabbed to death in their apartment on Friday, police said earlier this week.

Officers were called to the home after a friend and a relative raised concerns when the mother, Elvira Canales-Gomez, 40, didn’t show up for work and wasn’t returning phone calls.

Detectives also learned that the suspect’s 9-year-old brother, Cesar Navarro, hadn’t been in school since September 17.

“When the woman and her young son were found in the apartment, detectives thought the older son might also have been a victim,” the police statement said.

But over the course of the investigation, he went from being “a missing person to a person of interest,” the statement said.

By Sunday, detectives decided they had probable cause to arrest him.

In the affidavit for the arrest warrant, the Clark County Coroner’s Office estimated that the victims were killed the evening of September 17 in their apartment, CNN affiliate KLAS reported.

Police believe the teen continued living in the unit with the dead bodies, the station reported. His brother was later found in the apartment’s bathtub and his mother nearby with a knife in the center of her chest, the station said.

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