Ford had thought Rabanales fled to his native Central America. As far as Ford knows, the other suspect, Sergio Cifuentes, who would be 41, has never been arrested.
Reyes was beaten on Feb. 4, 2007 at Lee Mar apartments on Shallowford Road near Buford Highway. The coffee table had broken in the card game argument and the leg was used to pound him, according to a police report obtained by the AJC.
Police and emergency medical workers responded to the scene. It isn’t clear why the officer didn’t make a report, but the result was the investigations division didn’t find out about the case until Feb. 17, when Reyes died.
“It’s a clear violation,” Ford said of the officer’s omission. “It definitely hurt our case. No doubt.”
Ford got a call from the medical examiner’s office about the death.
The investigator interviewed witnesses, neighbors and family. He had murder warrants in hand for both suspects within two days.
But he could find neither man.
At the apartment where the beating happened, he was told the tenants had moved out after Reyes was rushed to the hospital.
Jason Jones, the officer who had failed to make the initial report, was disciplined at the time, Ford said. Last year, Jones was fired after an unrelated internal investigation.
Efforts to locate Jones for comment weren’t immediately successful Friday.
Rabanales has no bond. Jail records show he is also being held for immigration authorities.
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