DECATUR – Newton County Sheriff Joe Nichols and GBI Director Vernon Keenan announced that Abel Torres, 28, was arrested today in Birmingham, Alabama, for the murder of his roommate that occurred early this morning at 170 Trelawney Circle in NewtonCounty. 

The body of the 29-year-old victim was discovered this morning by Newton County Deputies after 2 men flagged down a State Patrol Trooper on I-20 at about 4:50am and relayed that a friend had just been murdered.  The Trooper contacted Newton County Sheriff’s Deputies, who, after interviewing the two men, went to the residence and found the body. 

Torres was not in the area and a Newton County Sheriff’s Investigator suggested checking taxi manifests and bus stations.  Investigators found that a cab driver had driven a Hispanic male matching Torres description from NewtonCounty to Atlanta to the bus station.  It was discovered that Torres was on a bus headed to California. The bus had a stop in Birmingham so Birmingham Police were notified and arrested Torres. 

An agent with the GBI and an investigator with the Newton County Sheriff’s Office are on the way to Birmingham to interview Torres.

The body of the victim was taken to the GBI Crime Lab for an autopsy. The identity is being withheld pending notification of next of kin.

Both the victim and the suspect are from California and had lived at the residence for only a few months.

# # # # #

Contact Information:

John Bankhead - 404-270-8330