Adam Matos, 28, was arrested and a 4-year-old autistic boy, believed to be Matos’ son, was found safe when SWAT teams closed in on a Tampa hotel early Friday.
According to The Associated Press, Matos is suspected of killing four people whose bodies were found on Thursday outside of a home in Hudson, Florida, dumped in a pile. Hudson is approximately 45 miles north of Tampa, Florida.
Adam Matos was found at the Floridian Palace Hotel in downtown Tampa due to a tip received by law enforcement. He was lured out of his room away from the child that was with him. Although he was caught by surprise, Matos did not try to resist arrest.
Matos said as he was led to a police car, “I love my son and I hope that he’s safe right now.”
When Adam Matos was asked why he took the boy, he replied, “Because he’s my son.”
The child, Ismael “Tristan” Santisteban, was “in good spirits” according to Tampa Police chief Jane Castor.
Adam claims that he did not kill the victims he is accused of killing and did not know who did. The evidence that links Matos to the crime has not been released, but Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco said in a news conference that he is the only suspect.
A welfare check to a home in Hudson on Thursday led to the discoveries of the bodies. Pasco sheriff’s deputies realized that no one was home but did notice a bad smell in the area. Walking down the street, the deputies saw the bodies of two men and two women piled on top of each other. Birds were circling the decomposing bodies which had been there for several days.
The victims were staying in Hudson shortly and then heading to Key West. Their identities have not been released, according to Newsmax.
How Matos became a suspect in their deaths is unclear.
It is unknown whether the boy who Adam claims to be his son witnessed the murders. The child is currently being interviewed by an investigator who specializes in talking to children with autism.
The boy’s mother called the sheriff’s office on August 28 to say that Adam Matos threatened her with a knife and left. The boy was last seen at his home on that day. A DNA test is pending to determine whether the Matos is really the father of the child.
Adam Matos came to Florida from Pennsylvania in July. Although he had no criminal record in Florida, Matos had committed several crimes in Pennsylvania. He was found guilty of purchasing alcoholic beverages as a minor, retail theft, and other crimes.
Adam Matos is scheduled to appear in court on Saturday.
[Images via Skip O’Rourke/Times and Pasco County Sherrif’s Office]