November 5, 2011

Vessel, stolen from Key Largo, tied to man’s death and Texas murder

Sheriff’s detectives are working together with police from Houston, Texas and with the U.S. Coast Guard on a case involving a stolen vessel from Key Largo and a suspect wanted for  murder in Houston who committed suicide while trying to flee to Cuba.

On Friday afternoon, a family from Bonito Lane in Key Largo called the Sheriff’s Office to report their 21 foot Mako stolen from behind their house. A friend of the family, 41 year old Noel Sosa of Houston Texas, had left his van at their house. In the van was a note. It said he was sorry for taking the vessel, but he had to get away because he had a “death warrant”.

Upon checking Sosa’s name, Deputy Matt Koval discovered a homicide warrant from Houston, Texas for Sosa. The warrant had been issued in late October. The friends told deputies  they thought Sosa was probably trying to flee to Cuba. A neighbor reported hearing a vessel engine starting around 1 a.m. Friday; he said he thought the neighbors might be going fishing.

The van left at the Bonito Lane house belonged to Sosa’s sister who lives in Kissimmee, Florida. Further investigation revealed she had loaned him the van two weeks ago.

A notice to be on the lookout for the vessel was issued to local police agencies, and to the United States Coast Guard.

Friday afternoon, the Coast Guard reported locating the vessel and the suspect, broken down in international waters. As they approached the vessel, Sosa reportedly shot himself in the chest, and was found to be deceased once they boarded the vessel. A .40 caliber Berretta was recovered and was believed to be the gun used by Sosa to kill himself.

The vessel and Sosa’s body were both brought back to the Florida Keys. Detectives from the Sheriff’s Major Crimes Unit are working with the Coast Guard and with Houston Police in the investigation. Sosa’s body is currently in the custody of the Monroe County Medical Examiner’s Office.

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