(CBS/AP) NEW YORK - The murder suspect accused in the stabbing death of Michael Jones and slicing off the youth soccer coach's ear last weekend in New York City has fled to Mexico City on Tuesday, a law enforcement official said.
Orlando Orea, also known as Orlando Gutierrez or Orlando Estevas, bought a one-way ticket on an Aero Mexico flight with cash moments before it was scheduled to leave from Kennedy International Airport on Tuesday morning, an official told The Associated Press under condition of anonymity.
Detectives discovered Orea's name at about 4:45 p.m. Tuesday and immediately placed him on a no-fly list, but he was already gone, the official said. Orea, 32, is suspected of killing 25-year-old Jones at about 4:30 a.m. Sunday after the two men were seen together, possibly arguing, on 14th Street in Union Square.
Jones was out with his girlfriend earlier but they parted around midnight, police said. Police were called to the bloody scene where Jones lay on the street. He was taken to Bellevue Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Police released surveillance footage late Sunday of the suspected slasher, a man with a ponytail wearing a dark jacket. While the motive remains unclear, police said it's possible the murder was a case of mistaken identity.
Orea was in an earlier fight at a nearby bar that may have involved a woman. He was apparently seen by witnesses with a knife in the bar, the official said. The suspect left, then encountered Jones on the street.
It's not clear what, if any, ties Orea has to Mexico.
Jones was a native of Liverpool, England and a coach with the New York Red Bulls Youth Training Program. He lived in West Harrison, in Westchester County.
The New York Red Bulls, a Major League Soccer team, plan to hold a memorial Wednesday in Westchester County.
Jones' father, Perry, of Tarleton, near Liverpool, reportedly said he wanted his son's body returned to England.
"We just want to get Mike back here as quickly as we can really and finish off what's going on in America," Perry Jones said.