'Person of interest' in Bradenton murder has reported violent past

jdeleon@br adenton.comJune 26, 2013 

MANATEE -- The only "person of interest" in the murder of 30-year-old Jazmin Catano of Bradenton has a reported history of violence.

Andres Collazos, 24, fled to Colombia as he was being sought for questioning by the Manatee County Sheriff's Office in Catano's slaying, officials say. Collazos apparently had been living with Catano until they recently broke up after more than a year of dating.

Catano's body was discovered around midnight Sunday in the West Bradenton apartment she had just moved into last weekend. No arrest warrant has been issued, and autopsy findings have not been released.

"We pretty much know how she died, but we are not going to release that information until we make an arrest," Manatee sheriff's spokesman Dave Bristow said Tuesday.

In June 2010, Collazos was ordered by a Sarasota County judge to stay away from a previous girlfriend after she said he threatened to kill her. In her petition for a temporary injunction, she said he tried to kill her.

"I was trying to move out," she petitioned the court in Spanish. "He reacted violently at my decision, he threatened to kill me and he attempted to strike me.

"He was looking for me, trying to find me while he was holding his handgun in his hand," she wrote. "Meanwhile, he called family members to advise them he was going to kill me when he found me."

Late Sunday, the body of Jazmin Catano was found in her West Bradenton apartment. Jorge Carvalho, Catano's former husband and father of her two children, discovered the crime scene when he arrived to drop off their 11-year-old son and 2-year-old daughter.

When Catano didn't answer the door or phone, he became worried and entered her home and found evidence of a crime. He called 911.

In an interview Tuesday night with the Herald, an extremely upset Carvalho said he was at a loss for words.

"I am not going to talk about what I saw, but when I entered I knew something was wrong," Carvalho said in Spanish.

According to posts on Facebook, Collazos and Catano had started dating as early as October 2011. The breakup appears recent with photos of the couple in May also posted on her account.

The couple had been living together, according to her former husband, but Catano moved into her new apartment alone Friday -- the day before she apparently was killed.

Carvalho said he did not know if violence had been a factor in the relationship.

"If those kind of things happen, I never had any knowledge," he said.

After Catano's body was discovered, several family members and friends told detectives Collazos needed to be interviewed. Detectives learned Monday Collazos had flown from Ft. Lauderdale to his native country Colombia on Sunday.

In court documents, Collazos' previous girlfriend said that after she filed for a protective order, he kept calling and begging for forgiveness. But she said she still feared for her life because he had made the same threat before -- and only days earlier had held a gun to her neck in front of their 16-month-old daughter.

The relationship ended against Collazos' wishes, she wrote in the injunction, but the fear and threats did not, according to court records.

The protective injunction was dismissed months later when she failed to show at a scheduled hearing.

In February 2012, she filed for another protective injunction against Collazos.

"The last year I tried to continue our relationship but I couldn't because he (is) still a violent person," she wrote. "He said that he wants (to) get married with me, I don't want (to) be with him."

A judge denied the second injunction, citing lack of evidence.

Collazos was known to have guns despite having been denied return of his .38 special revolver after the first protective order. Collazos petitioned in Sarasota County three times for return of the gun, but the judge denied them all.

Catano, an employee of the Manatee County Clerk of Courts criminal division, had been married to Carvalho for 11 years. The couple separated in March 2011 and finalized their divorce in April 2012, according to court records.

Both of their children have birthdays within the next week.

The Manatee Sheriff's Office investigation continues. Anyone with information is asked to call MSO at 941-747-3011, ext. 2518 or Crime Stoppers at 866-634-TIPS.

Jessica De Leon, law enforcement reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7049. You can follow her on Twitter @JDeLeon1012.

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