A man suspected of murdering a British football coach in New York has fled to Mexico, according to reports.
Mike Jones, 25, from Tarleton, Lancashire, was found with a severed ear and stab wounds to his torso and neck in the early hours of Sunday.
Mr Jones, who coached the juniors of US Major Soccer League team New York Red Bulls, was rushed to hospital from near 25 West 14th Street but was pronounced dead on arrival.
Police sources told the Associated Press and the New York Daily News that suspect Orlando Orea, 32, bought a one-way ticket with cash shortly before he flew out of Kennedy International Airport. He left the country early Tuesday morning about 15 hours before detectives identified him and asked for him to be placed on a no-fly list.
Detectives spoke to a woman who believed she spoke to Orea in a bar close to the murder scene shortly before the incident.
The Daily News reported the suspect may have gone on to attack the football coach in the street after mistaking him for someone he had an argument with inside Bunga's Den bar.
Mexico has an extradition treaty with the United States in cases where there is no possibility of a death penalty, as there would not be in New York State, the newspaper added.
The father of Mr Jones's girlfriend, Bryeanna Murphy, said his daughter met him six months ago.
Tim Murphy told the newspaper: "She still can't believe this has happened and that it is real.
"He was a great guy and was very happy."
Miss Murphy was among hundreds of mourners who attended a church memorial service yesterday.
Many of those paying their respects wore Red Bulls shirts with "Jonesy" printed on the back.
Mr Jones's parents, Perry and Carole, are following developments in the inquiry from their home in Tarleton and want his body returned to the UK as soon as possible.
- More about:
- Newspapers And Magazines
- New York City
- Styles And Clothes