Fingerprints left at one of the crime scenes led to Elias Abuelazam, who is suspected of committing five murders and 15 additional assaults in the United States, Leesburg police commander said on Thursday.
In a special press conference held in Michigan, the police chief said Abuelazam selected his victims based on the color of their skin.
A police investigator added that they made the match after analyzing fingerprints from the scene of the murder. In addition to the murders and assaults committed in recent months, the police was checking whether Abuelazam was also involved in a March 2009 murder.
The initial information about Abuelazam was received from Michigan, and was quickly verified with additional information from Virginia.
The police investigator said they had no direct cooperation with the Israeli government at the moment, but added that the federal authorities had most likely made contact.
According to the police, Abuelazam had a previous criminal record and was arrested in 2007 for illegal gun possession, but the charges against him were dropped.
Another report states Abuelazam was convicted in 1995 in the state of California.
The police noted they will continue investigating other incidents that may be related to the suspect.
Meanwhile, Israeli police detained one of Abuelazam's relatives in Ramla for questioning, in hopes of uncovering more details about the suspect from the family member who met with him during his last visit to Israel.
Another relative, also named Elias, was shocked by the accusations. "We can't believe what has befallen us. It doesn't make sense. He is a charming boy, his mother is in shock every since they told her about the suspicions."
The relative also expressed outrage that "no one in the embassy in the United State contacted the family to tell them what is really going on there. We are getting out information from all kinds of rumors about suspicions that do not sound like him. We know him to be a completely different person."
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