Teen accused of double murder arrested near Strip

The 16-year-old accused of fatally stabbing his mother and 9-year-old brother last week was arrested Wednesday morning after a week of avoiding authorities, Henderson police said.

Adrian Navarro-Canales, 16, faces two murder charges in the death of his brother, Cesar Navarro, and his mother, 40-year-old Elvira Canales-Gomez.

Henderson police found their bodies in Canales-Gomez’s apartment bathroom in the 11000 block of South Eastern Avenue, near Sunridge Heights Parkway, on Friday.

Cesar had a single stab wound in his chest and his mother was stabbed multiple times and found with a large knife still in her chest, according to the arrest warrant for Navarro-Canales.

Police said an anonymous tip came into dispatch just after midnight Wednesday morning that Navarro-Canales was seen in the area near the Strip and Tropicana Avenue on Tuesday. According to Henderson police spokesman Keith Paul, detectives responded the tip early Wednesday morning.

About 10:30 a.m., detectives spotted Navarro-Canales sitting by himself in the food court and took him into custody without incident, Paul said.

Henderson officers first responded to the Canales-Gomez’s apartment on Sept. 18 after her boyfriend, Carlos Rubio-Villanueva, asked for a welfare check when she did not answer her phone or door. Officers responded to the residence, but did not enter.

Officers were called to the apartment twice more on Thursday, but again did not enter.

Police did not discover the bodies until Friday morning after Canales-Gomez’s neice, Ana Martinez, called police after she learned that the 9-year-old had not been at Lamping Elementary School since Tuesday and her aunt had not been at work. The bodies were found inside the apartment about 11 a.m. Friday, the police report said.

Paul said there were no pressing circumstances that would have allowed police to enter during the first three checks, noting that the doors were locked and the windows were secured.

Initially, police thought Navarro-Canales may have been a victim, but by Sunday, he was identified as a suspect and a warrant was issued for his arrest.

Police said that Navarro-Canales stayed in the apartment Sept. 17 and 18 after the killings.

On Sept. 18, he sent his father, Adrian Navarro Soto-Mayor, who lives in northern California, a text message saying that the family “was fine,” and that their cellphones had died. The teen then turned his cellphone off and police were not able to trace it, according to the report.

Martinez told police Navarro-Canales had been “extremely volatile, defiant and violent toward Elvira in the past and that he has been known to push or punch when she confronts him.”

Navarro-Canales faces two counts of murder and will be charged as an adult.

Contact reporter Colton Lochhead at clochhead@reviewjournal.com. Follow @ColtonLochhead on Twitter.

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