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Vacationing FL Cop Murdered In Tragic Scene

Vacationing FL Cop Murdered In Tragic Scene

The Miami Herald via YellowBrix

May 13, 2011

PONCE, Puerto Rico — Juan Leonardo Aviles Otero, a Miami-Dade police officer, former soldier, narcotics detective and father of newborn twin girls, died Thursday on the side of a road in a remote part of southern Puerto Rico.

Aviles, 34, was found

shot to death at 3:10 a.m. in the passenger seat of the 2009 Toyota Corolla he had rented while on a Mother’s Day visit to see his mom to try and convince her to move to Miami. His 21-year-old sister, Jazmin Plaza Otero, a single mom in a yellow tank top and shorts, was found on the driver’s side, face-down in the dirt.

Like her brother, she was shot in the face, chest and arms, according to news reports.

Lt. Angel Feliciano of the Ponce homicide unit said three envelopes with a white powdery substance were found in Aviles’ pocket. Another envelope, empty, was on the floor of the car; police have sent it to a lab for analysis.

“The contents had already been consumed,” Feliciano told reporters.

The brother and sister had been having drinks at Las Copitas, a rural dive sports bar in Villalba, near a mountain called Cerro Maravilla, some 55 miles south of the capital. The mountain is better known for the decades-long scandal that erupted there from a 1978 police ambush of two independence activists.

Police on Thursday were trying to determine whether Aviles was ambushed as well, or if he and his sister were already parked on the side of the road.

“This [killing] arose from a discussion they had had earlier at the place of business,” Police Superintendent Jose Figueroa Sancha told reporters. He hinted that there had been an earlier bar fight.


This screen grab from shows the scene where a Miami-Dade police officer was killed in Puerto Rico early Thursday morning.

“This goes to what we’ve been talking about the tolerance, or lack of tolerance, in these types of discussions, in these types of establishments.”

The bar remained closed most of the afternoon. When it reopened, nobody there wished to discuss the officer’s murder.

After a stint in the narcotics division of the Bayamon Police region in Puerto Rico, officer Aviles joined the Miami-Dade Police Department in late 2006 and was assigned first to Palmetto Bay and later to the Midwest District around Doral. He married fellow police officer Vanessa Marie Alvarez last year.

Having recently given birth to twin daughters, she was not on the trip with him.

One supervisor who worked with Aviles in the Midwest district described him as “a hard-working officer.”

“He was ambitious,” said a Miami-Dade supervisor who said he said he was not authorized to speak publicly about the case. “He was very strict about following the rules, dotting his i’s, crossing his t’s. I doubt you’ll find anyone who had a knock about how he performed his job.”

Miami-Dade Police dispatched an investigator to Puerto Rico, and issued only a two-sentence announcement of the officer’s killing.

In Puerto Rico, relatives told El Nuevo Dia newspaper that Aviles’ slain sister recently broke off with a boyfriend who she lived with in Ponce, who had threatened her by telephone. Family members wonder whether Aviles was mistaken for a new boyfriend, since he was not well known in the neighborhood.

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  • Photo_user_blank_big


    about 3 years ago


    RIP, Officer

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    about 3 years ago


    And the US has to be involved with PR... why? They are not US worthy!

  • Belmar_pro_and_i2_max50


    about 3 years ago


    RIP Officer Aviles. Sounded like such a hard working by the books type man and just starting a family. Pray for his wife and kids. Those responsible for this horrible act will be brought to justice.

  • Flags_and_stars_max50


    about 3 years ago


    RIP brother

  • 91101_remeberance_max50_1__max50


    about 3 years ago


    RIP Brother....You will never be forgoten.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    about 3 years ago


    So sad to leave the twins fatherless and his wife a widow. I pray that both he and his sister rest in peace.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    about 3 years ago


    BHPD93, thank you for the explanation. That consumed part in the article was really nagging at me. Either way, awful to think about. Rest in peace, bless the babies, son and wife.

  • Uniphone1_max50


    about 3 years ago


    Truly tragic. Rest in Peace brother and God Bless!

    "Train for the Fight"

  • Fallenherobadge-3-1_max50_max50


    about 3 years ago


    God Bless Leo Otero and his sister. This murder by a coward deserves all the attention it can garner from the Homicide bro's down that way.

  • Sheriff_3_max50


    about 3 years ago


    Rest in peace my brother....

  • Untitledma28839986-0002_max50


    about 3 years ago


    Rest in Peace Brother.

  • Tbl0_max50


    about 3 years ago


    Rest in Peace, officer.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    about 3 years ago


    Rest in Peace.

  • Car_004_max50


    about 3 years ago


    God Bless Your Soul Brother... Lord please Bless and comfort the wife and family of our Brother Aviles. Bless his Twin Daughters. RIP Brother.

  • Police_max50


    about 3 years ago


    I completely agree with BHPD93 and will continue to support officer Otero; It looks like the envelopes were planted by the killer(s). R.I.P. brother.

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