HUDSON, Fla. (970 WFLA) - A 4-year-old boy is safe in Tampa after Sheriff Chris Nocco said he was found alive and well at a Tampa hotel. Ismael Tristan Santisteban was believed to be missing with the man Pasco authorities said is the suspect in the case four homicides in Hudson - 28-year-old Adam Matos.
"Thank God for making this a safe outcome.. This could have been a very bad situation," Nocco said.
Tampa Police Chief Jane Castor says they used a ruse to get Matos out of his room on the 18th floor of The Floridan Hotel in downtown Tampa to get him away from the child. Castor said they received several tips that people recognized him overnight and that he was at that the hotel. She also said they started receiving information when Sheriff Chris Nocco began the series press conferences on the amber alert and homicide cases Thursday evening. Nocco said the man was caught by surprise and they believe he was trying to leave the Tampa Bay region. (see photos of the hotel scene below)
Deputies say four bodies - two men and two women - were discovered near the Hudson home where they went to check on the 4-year-old autistic boy. The Pasco County Sheriff's Office says when detectives arrived at the house Thursday afternoon, no was home. But they noticed a bad smell and walked down the street toward birds circling the air. That's where they found the bodies - about three fourths of a mile from the house.
Nocco says they still don't know if Matos is the boy's father or a father figure. Santisteban, who is called by family members as Tristan, was last seen Aug. 28 at the home in Hudson. Deputies say they had gone to the house that day on a domestic call from Tristan's mother who had told deputies Matos threatened her with a knife. But, deputies say, he was nowhere to be found.
Officials say Santisteban and those found dead appear to have a connection, but the sheriff's office isn't naming the victims or their relationship to Santisteban or Matos.
Midday Friday, Sheriff Nocco said Matos was headed to the Florida Keys. An investigator said when talking about rescuing the boy, that it was 'one of the best days of my career seeing him come out of that room.'
Matos first court appearance is in Hillsborough Saturday and then he will be extradited to Pasco.
Investigators will be on scene all day. Family members are coming to Pasco County, according to Nocco. They want anyone who has had contact with Matos in the last few days to contact them.
Officials were looking for a blue Ford pickup F150 and have since found it, not with the pair.
An Amber Alert was issued for Santisteban Thursday night and was cancelled Friday morning after authorities announced both were found.
Photos Credit Pasco County Sheriff's Office
Detectives interview Pasco murder suspect. pic.twitter.com/nYMOSO9HSO— TampaPD (@TampaPD) September 5, 2014
Swat officers staged in Floridan Hotel lobby while detectives used a ruse to make contact with the suspect pic.twitter.com/UEkO3eWaLC— TampaPD (@TampaPD) September 5, 2014
Pasco County Swat and TPD Swat work together to arrest violent homicide suspect in downtown tampa hotel pic.twitter.com/4lJQek5rR0— TampaPD (@TampaPD) September 5, 2014
Chief Jane Castor meets with TPD & Pasco Swat before suspect arrest pic.twitter.com/U9VUfY5NSK— TampaPD (@TampaPD) September 5, 2014
TPD and Pasco SO search suspect search suspect. 4 year boy is safe at the Floridan Hotel. pic.twitter.com/6xOvv7WKFV— TampaPD (@TampaPD) September 5, 2014