Local News

Warrant: Stolen cell phone connected man to 60-year-old's slaying

Posted September 1, 2009 1:26 p.m. EDT
Updated September 1, 2009 3:38 p.m. EDT

— Calls made to a cell phone in police custody helped lead Raleigh police to a suspect in the death of a 60-year-old woman, according to a search warrant returned Tuesday.

Flavio Joaquin Velasquez Cardenas, 33, is charged with murder in the death of Patsy Eason Barefoot, whom police found June 27 in the bedroom of her Wake Forest Road apartment. Cardenas was arrested in Coral Gables, Fla., on Aug. 24, after police found Barefoot's missing car there.

According to the search warrant, a Sprint cell phone was stolen in early June from an apartment in the complex where Barefoot lived.

The warrant says that 55 calls were then made from that cell phone, including 20 calls to Miami. The recipient of some of those calls was Manuel Garcia, who had been arrested June 5 by Raleigh police on charges of trafficking cocaine, according to the warrant. Police had the phone and were monitoring incoming calls.

Police are also seeking a sample from Cardenas to see if it matches DNA found at the scene of the slaying, according to an affidavit in the search warrant.

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 Barefoot, whether he is from North Carolina or Florida or why he might have been in either state.