MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A day after a 15-year-old was arrested in connection to the 2014 killing of Rabbi Joseph Raksin, the Miami-Dade Police Department’s acting director, Juan Perez, said his detectives believe they know the names of the teen’s alleged accomplices.
In an interview for Sunday’s edition of Facing South Florida with Jim DeFede, Perez had a message for the remaining young offenders.
“Well here are the two options,” Perez said. “Are you going to live the rest of your life running, evading, watching your back that the police are going to come after you? Or just step forward knowing they are going to get you eventually. Why not just turn yourselves in and avoid all that hardship? Bring some peace to that family that you impacted and peace to the community that you impacted.”
DeFede asked Perez if the problem in making the additional arrests was a matter of finding the location of the other players or was it a matter of gathering more evidence against them.
“We’re still building the case,” Perez said.
“So you know who they are?” DeFede confirmed.
“We believe we know who they are,” Perez replied. “So we are building the case on them.”
“And if they want to do themselves good,” DeFede said, “you’re saying, ‘Come forward now, because you don’t want to have to wait until we come and get you.’”
“That’s correct,” Perez said.
As CBS4 News first reported earlier this week, Miami-Dade Police had identified Deandre Charles within a month of Rabbi Raksin’s murder on August 9, 2014. Nevertheless, police and prosecutors waited 16 months before getting an indictment for first-degree murder. He admitted waiting that long can be frustrating.
“I think we all get frustrated,” he said. “You know you have the person, you’ve identified him or you believe you have him identified, and you are missing that other piece of the puzzle.
“But we are all professionals,” Perez continued. “The State Attorney’s Office is professional; Miami-Dade Police Department homicide bureau is very professional and they understand the process. They understand that they need to build a case so it’s beyond reproach. It wouldn’t be fair for us to take somebody to trial to then lose it in trial. It wouldn’t be fair to the family of the victim.”