Lawsuit filed over Cunanan reward

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Miami (Reuters) - The caretaker who stumbled upon suspected serial killer Andrew Cunanan aboard a Miami Beach houseboat filed a lawsuit yesterday to claim reward money offered for Cunanan's capture.

Fernando Carreira said in the lawsuit, filed in Dade County Circuit Court, that the city of Miami Beach and Dade County breached a contract by refusing to give him $65,000 (pounds 39,000) in reward money offered by various agencies.

Miami Beach police officials said on Thursday that they were not sure if Mr Carreira would qualify for the reward because he called police to report a suspected burglar, not mentioning Cunanan, who was accused of killing the Italian fashion designer, Gianni Versace, and four other men.

Cunanan died of a self- inflicted gunshot wound aboard the houseboat.

City officials issued a statement yesterday saying a decision on the reward money would be made when the investigation into Cunanan's suicide was done. "Mr Fernando Carreira is certainly eligible for consideration once the investigation is completed," the statement said.

Mr Carreira, 71, went aboard the two-storey houseboat on Wednesday and saw signs that someone was sleeping there, including a pair of sandals on the floor. He drew his gun, and ran when he heard a shot from the upper level, where Cunanan was later found dead.