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Suspect arrested in murder of prominent NYC art dealer stabbed to death in Brazil

The suspect is a Cuban national who was allegedly on the run following the stabbing

Graig Graziosi
Thursday 18 January 2024 23:19 GMT
A journalist films the entrance to the apartment where Brent Sikkema, an American art dealer, was found dead, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
A journalist films the entrance to the apartment where Brent Sikkema, an American art dealer, was found dead, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (AP)

Police have arrested a suspect in the grisly stabbing death of an American art dealer in Brazil, according to authorities.

Investigators in the state of Rio arrested a man named Alejandro Triana Trevez near the city of Uberaba, located in the neighbouring state of Minas Gerais. The suspect is a Cuban national who was allegedly on the run.

Police found him resting at a gas station and took him into custody, according to a statement from law enforcement, according to CBS News.

He is accused of killing Brent Sikkema, 75, who was found in his Rio de Janeiro apartment on Monday stabbed 18 times.

Mr Trevez is also accused of taking $3,000 from Mr Sikkema's home.

Detective Felipe Curi, the head of Rio's police homicide unit, told CBN Rio that they currently believe the robbery led to the homicide.

"Initial findings of our investigation indicate that Alejandro [Trevez] came from Sao Paulo specifically to commit this crime," Mr Curi said.

The Rio authorities obtained a 30-day prison warrant against Mr Trevez, which they said would allow them to hold him while they delve into other leads and examine whether or not the men had any connection before the fatal stabbing.

Mr Sikkema was a founder of a New York art gallery near Chelsea Piers. The Sikkema Jenkins & Co gallery issued a statement confirming Mr Sikkema's death.

"It is with great sadness that the gallery announces the passing of our beloved founder, Brent Sikkema," the statement read. "The gallery grieves this tremendous loss and will continue on in his spirit."

Mr Sikkema opened his first gallery in 1976 in Boston.

He previously expressed his love for locations like Cuba and Brazil, noting that he was a "chaos kind of guy," in an Instagram post.

Mr Sikkema previously told IdeaFix that his apartment in Rio de Janeiro was an "oasis" away from New York City, where he lived most of the time.

Yancey Richardson, a friend of Mr Sikkema and the owner of a nearby art gallery, spoke with The New York Times about his contemporary.

"I'm shocked," he said. "Brent had a terrific eye and thought outside of the box. He wasn't just mounting one painting show after another."

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