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Man in Florida charged in Raleigh woman's death

Posted August 25, 2009
Updated July 21, 2011

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— Police have arrested a man in Florida in the slaying of a woman found dead in her Raleigh home in June.

Flavio Joaquin Velasquez Cardenas, 33, was charged Monday with murder in the death of Patsy Eason Barefoot, 60, whom police found June 27 inside her apartment on Wake Forest Road.

Investigators were able to track Barefoot's silver 2002 Ford Focus to South Florida, and a Raleigh police detective, as well as officers there, detained Cardenas in Coral Gables.

Cardenas was in Miami Tuesday awaiting extradition to North Carolina. It's unclear when that will occur.

Barefoot's sister, Letha Parrish, said Tuesday that the arrest is a relief to her and her family, who have worried that police would never be able to charge anyone in the crime.

"It's just devastated us. I say every night that I just want to hear in the morning that they found someone," Parrish said. "I'm just thankful they found her killer as soon as they did. They did a wonderful job."

Lt. Andy Murr, with the Raleigh Police Department's Major Crimes Division, said investigators had been to Florida three times since the crime following up on leads.

"Their tenacity and methodical investigations in the case have paid off, and we're grateful for where we are at this time," Murr said.

Authorities have not offered a motive for the killing and won't say how Barefoot died. It's also unclear if or how Cardenas knew. Also unclear, is whether he is from North Carolina or Florida or why he might have been in either state.

"Obviously, the investigation is not over," Murr said. "It's just a new phase, but we're thankful we have someone in custody and hopefully to provide a small bit of closure to the Barefoot family."

Investigators believe someone drove Barefoot's car out of the apartment complex around 6:30 p.m. the night before police discovered her body. A neighbor has said that she heard a loud thumping from Barefoot's apartment on the same night.

Parrish said she isn't sure why someone would have wanted to harm her sister – who worked at a local Fresh Market. Barefoot, she said, was a loving person who kept to herself and had recently been sick with diabetes.

"She was so sickly and everything, and she didn't have any enemies that I knew of," Parrish said. "She was just a kind person, and I just can't see why someone would have done that to her."


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  • foot Aug 27, 2009

    I would like to thank everyone who has been praying for me and my family. This has been a difficut time and I hope justice will be done. RPD has done an outstanding job and I praise them everyday for their hard work. Please continue to pray for us as we continue down this difficult road ahead.

  • whatever02 Aug 25, 2009

    Fresh Market - that's where I know her from!! I think she worked in the bakery. was always so sweet when she helped us. So glad they caught him.

  • Heel from Hell Aug 25, 2009

    Knowing someone's immigration status is important, because the US normally bars entry if he/she has a criminal history.

    The fact that he is illegal doesn't make him any more dangerous...it's the fact that we aren't able to exercise proper consideration. We just don't know and THAT's the crux of the issue.

  • shortcake53 Aug 25, 2009

    Im really glad if this persons capture gives her family some peace. My best to them all.

  • koolbike1 Aug 25, 2009

    No Skywatch, I was,n't. Just those that had a hint of it in there comments. And another thing, what if this guy was born in the US and has a latin name? How does anyone come to the conclusion from the facts in this report (so far as of 3:30pm) that the guy is illegal?

  • Skywatch_NC Aug 25, 2009

    Whoa there, koolbike. Hope you're not inferring that everyone here who posted at this report topic is racist.

  • koolbike1 Aug 25, 2009

    Wow - this story brought out all the racists. Why not just go down to the studios and ask if the guy's illegal. Does that make him any more dangerous than the old woman who ran over a 6 year old girl last week, or the tree that fell on the car in Garner earlier the same day? I guess in your minds that someone coming to this country any way that they can and seeking a better life is a hardened criminal murderer. Can't you just comment on the fact that 'a murderer' has been taken off the street? What is wrong with you insatiable jerks?

  • timothycapwell Aug 25, 2009

    There's a HUGE elephant in the room the media are not mentioning.

  • shortcake53 Aug 25, 2009

    Oldschool, i can pretty much nail it on the head, bet you can too.

  • oldschooltarheel Aug 25, 2009

    betcha there'll never be a whisper of what the suspect's immigration status is - wanna guess?