Murder at South Beach luxury condominium
Miami Beach police arrested Jonathan Alonso, 30, and charged him with the murder of a Coral Gables financial executive whose body was found Wednesday decomposing in his South Beach condo.
Louis Piper, 61, was found with multiple stab wounds Wednesday afternoon in his 12th-floor condo at Sunset Harbour South, 1800 Sunset Harbour Dr., Miami Beach police said Friday. Residents noticed the stench, which permeated floors and elevators, that lingered until Thursday morning.
Police said a co-worker grew concerned when Piper did not show up for work. Building manager Xiomarra Reina went to check on the apartment with two other building employees, assistant manager Gina Morales and concierge Carlos Pedroza. They called out for Piper and knocked on the door multiple times. No one answered, and only Piper’s dog could be heard barking.
Pedroza used a spare key to enter the apartment, where Alonso had been all along. Alonso rushed to the door and blocked them from entering. When asked about Piper’s whereabouts, Alonso at first said he hadn’t seen him in four days. Then he said he saw Piper on Tuesday.
The employees grew suspicious and called police. Later on, Pedroza saw Alonso leaving through the front lobby, where he asked him if he’d been able to reach Piper.
Alonso brushed him off, saying he was in a rush, and his ride was waiting for him. He never returned.
Police arrived to find a grisly scene in the condo. Blood stained the floor, the walls, the bed and several knives. In a bathroom, Piper lay in a pool of blood, unidentifiable from decomposition. It looked like he had struggled with his killer.
After naming Alonso and releasing his photograph, police found him around 1:30 p.m. in Museum Park. He was carrying Piper’s credit cards, and he had cuts and abrasions. He was arrested and taken to county jail, where he is being held without bond on a first-degree murder charge.
According to LinkedIn, Piper worked as a vice president for commercial acquisitions for Bayview Asset Management in Coral Gables, and had attended the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business. A person who answered the phone at the firm Friday directed the call immediately to a voice mailbox.
Miami Beach police released security camera footage that showed Alonso in an elevator in the building and video showing Alonso walking with a small dog in the building.
Court records show Piper evicted Alonso from the condo last year. Some Facebook pictures in which they’re both tagged show them socializing as a couple.
Alonso was found guilty of possessing cocaine in 2008, court records show, and went into a pretrial intervention program on a 2005 third-degree grand theft charge and 2013 marijuana and drug paraphernalia possession charges.
After his arrest on Friday, police had to put a spit mask on Alonso, who was naked, after he spit at police while being escorted into the jail.
Alonso gave police no statement. He did, however, pick up an additional criminal mischief charge.
Cops say while he was detained in the interview room, he removed the digital camera and microphone from the wall.