POLICE investigating the murder of Michael Jones fear the main suspect has escaped the US.
Orlando Orea, 32, also known as Orlando Gutierrez, left the US on Tuesday morning on an Aero Mexico flight from Kennedy International Airport, the police said.
Detectives leading the investigation are examining the theory Mr Jones’ death may have been a result of mistaken identity.
New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said: “There may have been a ‘discussion’ with a woman that (the suspect) met in a bar. We don’t believe at this time that the victim was involved with the fight with the perpetrator in that bar.”
Police are looking at the possibility the killer – described as Hispanic and aged 25 to 30 years old – mistook Michael for a man who had been with the woman.
The family have opted against flying to New York.
Michael’s father, Perry, said: “We just want to get Mike back here as quickly as we can really and finish off what’s going on in America.
“At the moment the New York police are saying they don’t feel it was robbery so we are thinking ‘what is the motive’? It would be nice if we could get that answer.”
The Jones family have created a small tribute outside their home with some of Michael’s football trophies and flowers donated in his memory.