Friday, September 5, 2014

A mystery

"I love my son and I hope that he is safe right now," stated Adam Matos.

Ismael Tristan Santisteban, 4, had last been seen on Aug 28 2014, when police had been at the home on 7719 Hatteras Dr in Hudson FL to investigate a domestic call.  Adam Matos, 28, had been accused of threatening Tristan's mother with a knife.  They returned to the home on September 4 2014 to do a welfare check on young Tristan because he had not been seen since that day and someone had contacted police to state that they could not reach anyone at the home.

The officers that arrived found no one home but the house had a bad smell and obvious signs that something had happened there.  They observed birds circling in the air further down the street and investigated further.  Less than a mile from the house, police found the bodies of two men and two women piled on top of each other.  The bodies had appeared to have been there for some time/

They issued an Amber Alert for Tristan as well as an alert for Adam Matos.  They did not know if the two were traveling together and suspected him of the murders.  The believed them to be together and they described Matos as "armed and dangerous.'

The manhunt lasted only about 12 hours before found and arrested Matos.  Police had received reports that Matos had been seen at a bus stop in downtown Tampa Fl and investigated.  He had evidently checked into the Floridian Palace around midnight using his own name and was staying on the 18th floor.  He had called the front desk at least once inquiring about how to use the internet and he also had been checking with buses for the cost and schedules.

Early Friday morning the police and SWAT team assembled at the hotel and lured him out of the hotel room.  He was arrested and taken into custody.  They found Tristan in the room unharmed.  he was taken from the Tampa police headquarters around 9:15 am this morning, to be booked into jail.  When asked why he had taken Tristan, his only comment was that the boy was his son.

Neighbors state that the home in Hudson had been vacant for a couple of years before the family with Tristan seemed to move in.  They added that they did not observe any moving trucks arrive, just that a motor-home appeared and parked in the driveway.  Matos found work at the Ger Hooked Grill as a dishwasher around the middle of August but was fired shortly afterwards for not showing up for work.  He had used the excuse of a family issue for not calling into work before his shift.  The manager there stated that Matos had showed up there about a week ago stating that he needed his last paycheck.

Matos has no criminal record in Florida but he does have one in Pennsylvania.  Police state that he had moved to Florida from Orefield PA in July and had had several encounters with law enforcement there.  In 2006, he was found guilty of purchasing alcoholic beverages for a minor and in 2007, he pleaded no contest to simple assault, theft, trespassing and receiving stolen property.  In 2008, he pleaded guilty to retail theft and in 2010, he pleaded guilty to harassment and in February of that year, DUI.

The police are working with family members of Tristan's in FL as well as family of the deceased in California and Pennsylvania to solve what really happened at the house on Hatteras Dr.  They are also trying to verify if Matos is Tristan's biological father or a father figure.  So far, Matos will be held on the charge related to the domestic call but he may well face numerous other charges in the near future.

Update Sept 6 2014:

It has been reported that the search warrant that police have named four adults.  The four people listed were Megan Brown, her mother Margaret Brown, her father Greg Brown and another man, Nicholas Leonard.  So far, only Leonard has been identified by family members through his tattoos.  The police stated that they found evidence of blood in the residence when they entered as well as the smell of decomposition.

It has also been reported that Matos took Tristan to the Tampa area by cab and had requested that they be taken to the Greyhound bus station.  After spotting the Amber Alert, the cab company contacted the police as well as numerous other people who had spotted the pair.  The authorities are also considering a DNA test to answer the question of whether Matos is Tristan's biological father.

Update Sept 7 2014:

The police have identified all four victims found dead in Hudson.  They are Megan Brown, 27, her parents Margaret and Greg Brown, both 52 and Megan's boyfriend, Nicholas Leonard, 37, who was not a resident of the home.  The authorities stated that Matos had been living at the home and they are waiting for confirmation as to the possibility of a DNA test that may have been performed in PA to verify whether Matos was Tristan's father.

The Browns had been living in Pennsylvania  and running a kennel until recently.  They had lost their kennel license after it was found that they were employing someone to work there who had been convicted of animal cruelty at a different kennel.  They had abruptly moved to Florida stating that they were tired of all the hard work up north and that they wanted to slow down and enjoy their lives in Florida.  They were renting the home in Hudson from another couple from PA who owned the property.

Records show that the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture had recently revoked the kennel license for Hidden Hill Farm dog kennel in Heidleberg Township PA where Margaret had been operating the dog kennel.  Matos was known to have dated Megan there and he moved with the family when they went to FL.  It has been reported that there had been problems with Matos and the family even when they were in PA.

Department officials had inspected her kennel on Aug 27 2014 and found that Bryan Smith was playing a role in caring for the animals which is not allowed by law.  He had been found guilty of cruelty after raids on the now defunct Almost Heaven kennel in Upper Milford Township in 2008 and 2009.  Brown had been operating the kennel since 2006 and had told officials that she was going to move to Florida during the summer.  She had applied for a zoning exemption so that Smith could continue to operate the kennel on the property.  The exemption was denied but the kennel had passed an inspection on June 23 2014.

Leonard was known as the local handyman and it has been reported that he met Megan shortly after she moved to Florida.  He knew that Matos was living in the home as well as his past relationship with Megan but he told friends that Matos was ok with him dating Megan.  No one remembers seeing Leonard after Aug 26th which they felt was odd.  Matos and Megan had the police come to the home after he had threatened her with a knife.  Neighbors state that they had seen Matos going in and out of the house repeatedly on Sept 2 2014.  The police have not released yet what they believe the timeline for the murders may be.

They have stated that Tristan will be cared for by by Megan's family in New Jersey until permanent custody can be made.  One of his aunt's will come to FL to pick him up shortly.  Matos meanwhile is being held for $200,000 on the previous assault charge while other charges are being considered.

Update Sept 8 2014:

The police warrant for room 1803 at the Floridian Palace Hotel in downtown Tampa stated that the police were searching for a knife and a gun that they believe had been used in the murders.  The autopsy results have not been released yet but they must have had some evidence that would suggest that both weapons may have been used by Matos before he dumped the bodies in a roadside ditch.

Margaret Brown
Greg Brown

Tristan and Megan Brown

Nicholas Leonard

Ismael "Izzy" Santisteban, 25 has stated that he had lived with Megan and her parents on their farm until they broke up about three years ago.  He added that he had been with Megan on October 6 2009 when she gave birth to her only child.  He stated that he signed the birth certificate and the boy was named after him at that time.

Ismael stated that he and Megan had broken up for a brief time while they had been dating and both knew that Matos could have been the biological father of Tristan.  He added that when they got back together, they had decided that it did not matter who actually was the boy's father and they would not do a DNA test.  Megan and Matos evidently did do just that about four months later and he stated that Megan went with Matos then.  He described the Brown family as wonderful people and could not find a reason for why anyone would want them dead.

Adam Matos has an extensive criminal record dating back to a juvenile conviction for possession of marijuana in 1999.  He was placed on probation but two months later he was charged with two counts of auto theft.  He was still a minor then and was sentenced to house arrest and probation.  He was back in court in  Aug 2001, when at age 15 he admitted he was guilty of seven home burglaries in North Whitehall Township PA.  The charges were a felony and that opened the normally closed juvenile hearing to the public.  He also admitted that he was guilty of possession of a firearm by a minor at that time.  The burglaries took place between June 8 and July 27 and netted him about $26,000 worth of stolen goods.  He was sentenced to 18 months in a juvenile facility near Harrisburg.

The 2007 charges of simple assault and theft were the result of Matos breaking into the apartment of an Allentown woman he had dated 18 months before.  When she returned home with a male friend, Matos attacked the man and then stole the woman's keys and cellphone.  He was arrested four more times in Lehigh County for DUI, retail theft and harassment. Ismael stated that Matos had moved to Florida at the same time as the Brown family.

They had all been living in a rented home in Hudson.  The home is valued at $245,000 and the listed owner is Benvenuto Cellini who lists a Nesquehoning Carbon County PA mailing address.  It is unclear if the Brown's had known them before they rented the home.

Update Sept 10 2014:

Adam Matos has granted a jailhouse interview in which he denied that he had anything to do with the deaths of four people.  He stated that everyone is looking at him as though he committed the murders and he knows that despite his denials, he probably won't change many people's views.  Matos has not been charged with the murders and is still being held on an aggravated assault charge.

Matos stated that he was born in Philadelphia PA and went to Parkland High School in Allentown PA.  He then studied at the Institute of Audio Research in New York City NY and followed that by working as a DJ.  He added that he met Megan about six years ago through and friend and he fell in love and still loves her.  He described an on again, off again relationship and after Tristan was born, he helped to care for him as well as hoping to marry her.

Friends of hers describe a very different relationship, one in which Megan was afraid of Matos.  He stated that he had left PA with the Brown family two months ago and things were doing well.  He added that he and Megan did breakup a couple of weeks ago but the he was still on good terms with her.  He had considered going back to PA at that time but he decided to stay in Florida with the Browns to be with his son.

He did deny that he had threatened Megan with a knife on Aug 28, which was the last day anyone had heard from her.  Matos explained that the two of them argued about something stupid  and he left after she asked him to leave.  He then stated that he lived on the streets for a few days but would give no further details citibg his lawyer's advice.

Matos stated that he didn't know to several questions which included.... how did he get Tristan before going to Tampa, why would the police think he committed the murders and where was he planning to go after he had checked into the hotel.  He also claimed that he did not know that Megan was dating Leonard until the day he was arrested and added that he was fine with that and it was her decision.

He did offer a different "possible" explanation of the murders though.  Matos states that there was a woman, possibly someone who knew Leonard, who had recently begun stalking Megan.  He claims that she had left threatening voice mails and letters for Megan and had even confronted Megan at the house at one point.  As much as Matos seems to know about this mysterious woman, he states that he does not know her name or even what she looks like.  I do hope that this is not another wild "Zanny the nanny" type of claim since both of his stories don't seem to make much sense,  I think I have seen Swiss cheese at the deli with less holes in it than his stories.

Update Sept 20 2014:

Matos was charged Sept 15 2014 with four counts of murder, aggravated assault and with being a fugitive from Allentown PA where he had been on probation before he left.  It has been revealed that he spent days covering up his crime.  He ordered pizza two nights in a row for him and his son while he went to Walmart and bought a shovel with one of the victim's debit cards along with selling their six dogs through Craigslist for $50 each.

The arrest report details how each of the victims had died........ Megan had been shot in the head, Greg had been shot in the torso, Leonard had died from blunt force trauma to the head and Margaret had suffered blunt force trauma to the head, her hands were tied behind her back and a plastic bag was tied over her head.  Matos had eventually dragged the bodies up the road where he left them piled together and decomposing.

Margaret Brown's stepmother had called police to report that she could not make contact with the family and on Sept 4, the police went out to check the residence.  The arriving officer had found a spent shell casing in the driveway and called for back-up.  He went inside and found the house vacant but in the garage, they found a pool of blood behind the parked Dodge Caravan.  There also were several blood soaked blankets and rugs left there.  A neighbor reported that they had seen Matos washing out the garage earlier and then sweeping the water out of a side door.  Another neighbor reported that Matos had told them that the Brown's were off visiting in West Virginia.  The police have not reported that they have found a motive for the killings yet.


Update Oct 20 2014:

Adam Matos has been charged with four counts of murder in relation to the deaths of his ex girlfriend, her parents and her new boyfriend.  He pleaded guilty and has waived his right to a speedy trial.  His next court appearance has been set for Dec 9 and the state in formed the court that they would be seeking the death penalty.

The police state that they believe that Matos lived with the dead bodies in the house for almost a week before he dumped them in a ditch less than a mile from the home.  He has formally pleaded not guilty to four counts of first degree murder, one count of aggravated assault and one count of being a fugitive from justice.


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