WINTER GARDEN, Fla. – Authorities have made another arrest in the death of a 16-year-old boy who was at the center of an Amber Alert case last month before his body was found in a shallow grave, according to the Winter Garden Police Department.
Police said Wednesday that 20-year-old Luis Rivera Jr. had been booked into the Orange County Jail and charged in the May 31 death of Bruce Hagans Jr. after authorities found him hiding in a basement of a home in New Britain, Connecticut, where extended family and friends had been helping him avoid arrest.
Rivera Jr. was extradited to Orange County overnight Tuesday and is now being held without bond, police said.
His arrest comes weeks after Luis Rivera Sr. was facing charges related to tampering with evidence in the case.
According to an arrest affidavit, a family member of Rivera Sr.'s met with Hagans on May 31 for a marijuana sale, and when Hagans got into the man's gray Infiniti, gunshots were heard and Hagans was seen slumped over.
The suspects then met at a body shop before removing Hagan's body from the gray Infiniti and transferring it into a red one, then drove back to their home in the Wedgefield area, the affidavit said.
Police said Rivera Sr. then bought his relative a plane ticket out of state.
An Amber Alert was issued while authorities searched for Hagans. His body was found days later in a shallow grave near a home on Robertson Street in Orlando, authorities said.
Rivera Jr. is facing multiple charges, including second-degree murder with a weapon and tampering with evidence.
Authorities said Hagans' father was notified of Rivera Jr.'s arrest and said he is grateful his son's killer has been arrested, and that it brings his family some closure.
"I’ve got a little more burden lifted off my heart. I just want justice served," Bruce Hagans, Sr. said. "That was my only baby, my son. He (hadn't) started living his life yet. They just totally wrecked my life."
Hagans Sr. told News 6 his son had a bright future.
"He wanted to be a professional football player, or he wanted to be a mechanic," Hagans said.
When News 6 asked police if this was the final arrest in this case, Winter Garden police said the investigation is ongoing.