The suspect in the fatal stabbing of a youth soccer coach near Union Square left a note saying he was “sorry” before fleeing the county, police commissioner Raymond Kelly said Thursday.
Orlando Orea, 32, paid cash for a one-way airline ticket to Mexico City and flew out of John F. Kennedy airport Tuesday, just hours before investigators identified him as the knife-wielding man caught on surveillance camera attacking Michael Jones, 25, on a 14th Street sidewalk before dawn on Sunday.
In the video, the pony-tailed man is seen approaching Jones, a youth soccer coach from England, stabbing him repeatedly outside a Levi’s store, leaving Jones collapsed and bleeding.
A search warrant of Orea’s apartment in Ridgewood, Queens, turned up a note that referenced the attack, Kelly said.
“It’s a note that basically makes the statement … that he was sorry,” he said.
Investigators have said that Orea was in an argument in a nearby bar before the attack, and may have mistaken Jones for one of the people who intervened to break up the altercation. Jones was never in the bar and didn’t know Orea.
Orea was able to board a plane leaving JFK just hours before police identified him and put him on the federal “no fly.”
Investigators know which village in Mexico Orea is from, Kelly said Thursday. New York investigators are preparing to travel there to assist in the manhunt, and are also working with Interpol, Mexican authorities, and the U.S. State Department to try to track down the fugitive.
Orea, who used several aliases and was in the county illegally, is expected to be indicted for the homicide.
When asked if the note amounted to a confession, Kelly replied “We’ll see.”
Jones worked as a youth coach part-time for the New York Red Bulls professional soccer team, and was living in West Harrison, N.Y. Several hundred people, including many of Jones’ students wearing their soccer jerseys, attended a memorial service for the coach in White Plains, N.Y., on Wednesday.