COCOA, Fla. – A nationwide manhunt ended Monday morning after a teenager sought in connection with a homicide at a Brevard County motel earlier this month was arrested in Georgia, according to the Cocoa Police Department.
Authorities had been searching for Reece Wilson Keravuori, 18, since the body of Terry Hilliard, 65, was found at the Dixie Motel on Feb. 7. Surveillance photos from the motel were released to the media and eventually Keravuori was identified as the suspect in the crime, according to a news release.
Police said Keravuori fled the motel in Hilliard's vehicle, which was later found in Hialeah. Surveillance video showed Keravuori driving the car at a gas station in Hialeah before it was abandoned, according to authorities.
From there, Keravuori flew from an airport in Miami to Silver Springs, Maryland where his mother lives.
“I know he was at home with his mother. From my understanding, she had no knowledge of what had happened,” Cocoa Police detective Ron McCarron said.
At one point, police knew Keravuori was in Silver Springs, Maryland, but detectives were not able to locate him, a news release said.
Keravuori told a bus driver in Alpharetta, Georgia, around 9:30 a.m. Monday that he had a warrant out for his arrest and wanted to turn himself in, according to police.
"We are grateful to our media partners for getting the word out, which yielded numerous leads,” said Sgt. Doug Levine, of the Criminal Investigations Division. “Our entire agency worked tirelessly on this case. The cooperation with state and federal agencies played a significant role in our ability to safely bring this suspect in.”
Authorities have not released information about the circumstances surrounding Hillard's death. The investigation is ongoing.
Keravuori was arrested Monday on a warrant for grand theft auto and murder charges are pending, police said. He will be extradited to Brevard County as soon as possible.