His parents died in 1982 and 1983, events that Carrillo says spun him toward substance abuse and a number of rehabilitations. Hes been clean since February 2003, he says, but the drug abuse left an indelible mark on his life.
From about 1980 until 2000, Carrillo owned All County Research and Recovery, a company in which research was key when it came to repossessing vehicles, and, for him, a natural transition into private-detective work. Along the way, he married, had four children and divorced.
Carrillo has been arrested three times, once almost 20 years ago on charges of trying to swindle an employer. More recently, he was charged with owing SunPass more than $3,000 and for carrying a stolen weapon. Charges were dropped all three times; the gun charge was dismissed after prosecutors learned the weapon belonged a friend of Carrillos son, whose mother had asked Carrillo to remove the weapon.
James Bond hes not. No shiny suits or fancy cars for Carrillo, whos more prone to wear jeans and T-shirts. He did splurge recently, buying a 1989 Mustang GT, but that was more for his son. Carrillo drives rentals.
Since 2010, hes been employed by Leverage Investigations, a local private-investigation firm that boasts: No matter where you hide, were going to find you. The companys website says it focuses on criminal defense, infidelity, missing persons (especially children), and surveillance. For a decade before that, Carrillo had his own detective firm; he joined up with Ana Lanuza, a former intern in his office, with thoughts of retirement in his head.
He loves what he does, said Lanuza. Sometimes he goes a bit overboard, but thats only because he loves his work.
His hard work paid off this past June 10, a day Rigoberto Garcia will never forget.
Jorge Del Rio, a fellow private detective, had spent almost two months searching for 15-year-old Brygette Garcia, who had left her South Beach home with an older Brazilian man. Carrillo was asked by a Spanish-language television reporter covering the case if he could help. So he contacted Del Rio. Within hours, using a secretive database Carrillo had recently acquired, they located Brygette Garcia in Texas and notified Houston police, who made an arrest and took the girl into custody. The girl later said she had been held against her will.
They found her, they found her, Rigoberto Garcia said of his daughter. Im so happy shes with me right now. They did real good.
The case made headlines in Miami and Texas. Since then, Del Rio, who gave Carrillo a lot of credit for helping him solve the mystery, has teamed up with him on occasion. Carrillo has made headlines before.
In 2003, he tried to claim the $25,000 reward for the capture of the so-called Shenandoah rapist, Reynaldo Rapalo. Carrillo claims that the day before Rapalos capture, he notified police and Crimestoppers of the rapists likely whereabouts. When Carrillos claim was ignored after Rapalos capture, he filed a lawsuit. Five years later, he received a tiny plaque inscribed with, In recognition for your assistance in the Shenandoah rapist case, with the caveat that he not display it publicly. Miami police declined to talk to a Miami Herald reporter about Carrillos role. And Carrillo is also familiar with Hialeahs absentee-ballot machine.