A high school student accused of murdering his mother and younger brother by stabbing them to death with a butcher knife was arrested Wednesday while nonchalantly enjoying a meal at a food court on the Las Vegas strip, police said.
Adrian Navarro-Canales, 16, was by himself Wednesday morning when cops arrested him just miles from the apartment where he lived with his mother and brother and is accused of murdering them, police added.
His mother, Elvira Canales-Gomes, 40, and his little brother, Cesar Navarro, 9, were found dead on Friday, covered in knife wounds. The mother was found with a butcher knife embedded in her chest, and the boy was found dead in a bathtub, according to cops.
Police were called to the home to conduct a welfare check when Canales-Gomes did not appear for work, Henderson Police said.
Navarro-Canales, a high school junior, was initially considered a missing person and believed to be a victim of the crime.
“As the investigation progressed, Navarro-Canales went from a missing person to a person of interest,” said police spokesman Keith Paul.
Cops think the teen may have killed his family on Sept. 17, following a celebration for his 16th birthday.
“Detectives believe Navarro-Canales left the apartment on Sept. 18 and walked to the Strip,” Paul said. “While it was suspected that he may have returned to the apartment sometime after his family was discovered, detectives have found no evidence that he returned to the apartment.”
Police said the family was from Mexico, but would not confirm whether Navarro-Canales was a U.S. citizen.
Navarro-Canales was booked into the juvenile holding area of the Clark County Detention Center, according to police. However, he has been charged as an adult on two counts of murder.
The teen will first appear in court on Monday, Sept. 30. He has not yet entered a plea or obtained counsel, according to a clerk in the Henderson Justice Court.
Attempts to reach his father, Adrian Navarro Soto-Mayor, who is believed to be travelling from his home in California to Las Vegas, were unsuccessful.