johnny Defense Mechanism (soverymonkey) wrote,
johnny Defense Mechanism

i grew up with this kid, he was a good friend of mine pretty much through elementary school. now he's way cooler than i.

anyway, this is from the june 12th free press, in the metro oakland section.

Slaying suspect sought

Cops hope reward loosens metro Detroiters' lips

June 12, 2003


He befriended a wealthy man twice his age while studying how to travel with a false ID. Then he killed the man, scrubbed evidence from the man's $500,000 home and used the dead man's credit card in Birmingham before fleeing Michigan, investigators allege.

He's been on the lam for 20 months and is possibly in Mexico, Spain or Puerto Rico. Clues to his whereabouts are known around metro Detroit -- but people aren't coming forward, said Farmington Hills Police Chief William Dwyer.

That's why police announced a $5,000 reward Wednesday for tips leading to the arrest and conviction of international fugitive Edgardo Perez, 21, formerly of Beverly Hills.

Oakland County prosecutors issued warrants Wednesday charging Perez with first-degree premeditated murder and with first-degree felony murder committed during a larceny -- both punishable by mandatory life in prison without parole.

Although no body has been found, Perez is charged with murdering Gordon Machek, 55, who hasn't been seen since Oct. 20, 2001, about a month after retiring as an auto designer from DaimlerChrysler, Dwyer said.

According to investigators, Perez packed the body into a truck "and dumped it in a local lake or possibly the Detroit River," Dwyer said. After the slaying, Perez drove Machek's van back to the home on 13 Mile, meticulously shampooed the carpets and wiped away fingerprints inside, then fled, Dwyer said.

Only with recently obtained DNA evidence did investigators decide they could charge Perez, whose smiling face beams alongside others in the junior class in the 1999 Birmingham Groves High School yearbook.

Perez doesn't turn up in later yearbooks, but he turned to an ominous course of study with books police found in his bedroom at his family home, where he lived with his parents and a sister, said Farmington Hills Assistant Chief Charles Nebus.

Nebus said Perez met Machek at an Oakland County fitness club, then meticulously planned his killing while reading "The Master Guide to Identity Theft," "I.D. By Mail," "Secrets of Clandestine Travel" and "Principals of Banking."

But, police said, Perez failed at withdrawing cash from his victim's accounts. Investigators said they have a recorded telephone conversation of Perez unsuccessfully trying to talk account representatives at Fidelity Investments into releasing Machek's savings.

At the time of the alleged murder, Perez was on probation for a December 2000 conviction for possession of a Taser weapon and assault and battery, said Oakland County Prosecutor David Gorcyca.

Just two months earlier in Ventura, Calif., Perez had been released to his parents after an arrest for possession of stolen property, Gorcyca said.

Officials would not say how they obtained DNA evidence against Perez.

After Machek's disappearance, police charged Perez with stealing Machek's credit card -- a 4-year felony -- and using it in Birmingham at a hair salon and at several nearby restaurants before fleeing the state, said James Halushka, Oakland County deputy prosecutor in charge of warrants and investigations.

The FBI has received "a steady stream of tips from around the world" about Perez, said Special Agent Greg Suhajda. Perez was born in Puerto Rico but is a U.S. citizen, officials said.

Dwyer, handing out photos of Perez on Wednesday, said Perez could be an elusive rogue in a Hollywood caper.

But a movie, he said, is an amusing diversion while the hunt for Perez is "kind of more serious."

Anyone with details on the Perez case should call Farmington Hills Police at 248-473-9694 anytime.

Contact BILL LAITNER at 248-586-2608.

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