Seattle police have arrested an 18-year-old suspect and identified three juveniles believed to have been involved in the fatal stabbing of Derek “Peachy” Juarez-Lopez, 15, at a West Seattle park this past month. He was lured to the park to be robbed of marijuana, police say.
An 18-year-old Seattle man and three juveniles have been identified as suspects in the September stabbing death of a 15-year-old boy who police say was lured to a West Seattle park so he could be robbed of marijuana he allegedly had.
The 18-year-old was arrested Tuesday afternoon at his house less than a mile from Westcrest Park, where Derek “Peachy” Juarez-Lopez was jumped, stabbed and robbed on Sept. 5, jail and court records show. Juarez-Lopez died hours later at Harborview Medical Center.
A King County judge on Wednesday found probable cause to hold the 18-year-old on investigation of homicide and set his bail at $750,000, said Dan Donohoe, a spokesman for Prosecutor Dan Satterberg. The suspect is expected to be formally charged Friday. The Seattle Times generally does not name suspects until charges are filed.
Donohoe could not say whether the three juveniles — a 17-year-old girl, a 16-year-old boy and a second boy whose age is not known — have also been arrested. A voice message left for a Seattle police spokesman was not immediately returned Wednesday evening, and no information about the suspects appeared on the police department’s online blotter.
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The same day Juarez-Lopez was attacked, Seattle police homicide detectives learned from his siblings that Juarez-Lopez had arranged to meet the 17-year-old girl to celebrate her birthday and was driven by his older brother to the area near the park, according to the statement of probable cause outlining the police case against the 18-year-old suspect.
Detectives were able to identify the girl through social media, and during an interview, police say she admitted she led Juarez-Lopez to a spot where she claimed three men armed with knives attacked him, the statement says. She ran away and “did not report any of this to police” before detectives contacted her.
The next day, police received an anonymous tip identifying the three male suspects. According to the statement, the 17-year-old girl lured Juarez-Lopez to the park so he could be robbed of marijuana he allegedly had, but the robbery “got out of hand,” and the 18-year-old stabbed Juarez-Lopez. After he fell to the ground, the male suspects then stomped his head before running off with Juarez-Lopez’s backpack, it says.
Juarez-Lopez was able to phone his sister and told her he had been jumped and stabbed before he collapsed just outside the park, at Sixth Avenue Southwest and Southwest Cambridge Street, the statement says. He suffered a stab wound to his upper chest and a second, larger cut to his lower abdomen, according to police.
The day after Juarez-Lopez died, his mother and sisters were interviewed by The Seattle Times and described the 15-year-old as respectful and wise beyond his years. They said he had a large circle of friends and was an aspiring writer who wrote poems about the importance of steering clear of gangs and getting an education.