Authorities working hard to find ex-boyfriend of slain Bradenton woman

rdymond@bradenton.comFebruary 23, 2014 

MANATEE -- On Saturday, June 22, 2013, Gustavio Catano got a phone call at his Plainfield, N.J., home from Andres Collazos, the ex-boyfriend of his sister who lived in Manatee County.

He immediately thought it strange that Collazos was calling him.

"Andres called and said, 'Hi, what are you doing,' " Catano recalled Friday. "That was weird. We didn't have a relationship for a call like that. He tried to be nice. I think he was planning to murder my sister that day and wanted to

see if I was up in New Jersey or on my way to Bradenton to help her move."

The Manatee County Sheriff's Office believes later on in the day he made the call to Gustavio Catano, Collazos walked into the West Bradenton apartment of Catano's sister, Jazmin, and killed her.

"He shot my sister," Catano said.

On July 19, 2013, an arrest warrant was issued for Collazos for the murder of Catano.

To this day, Collazos is still at large, currently on the sheriff's office's featured fugitive list.

Detectives say he fled the United States on a flight from Fort Lauderdale to Colombia on June 23, hours before Catano was found dead.

"We are working with U.S. Marshals and kind of waiting," Dave Bristow, a sheriff's office spokesman, said Friday. "We don't have anything to do with the search down there. But we think it is kind of like here, that if he is stopped while driving a vehicle or gets into a disturbance they will check to see if he has warrants."

Manatee County Sheriff's Office Detective Ricardo Alvardo, who is handling the case, said Friday that he is optimistic Colombia will extradite Collazos if authorities there find him, perhaps because his alleged victim was also Colombian.

"They are being helpful," Alvarado said of the Colombia government. "Both the victim and the suspect are citizens of Colombia. I believe the victim has family in Colombia."

Earlier this month, a Colombian television station based out of Orlando interviewed Alvarado about the case.

"They wanted to know the status of the investigation, including our communication with the Colombian government and what is being done," Alvarado said.

'Devastated'

Gustavo Catino wants Collozos to face justice and be punished if convicted.

"I hope he gets the death penalty because he planned everything and never considered the consequence of my sister leaving two children behind," Catino said.

Jazmin Catano, an employee of the Manatee County Clerk of Courts criminal division, left behind Sebastian, 12, and Melissa, 3, from an 11-year earlier marriage.

"The children are with the ex-husband, who lives in Bradenton," Catano said.

Catano learned his sister was dead via a phone call.

"In the beginning that was devastating for me and my family because she was the young one," Catano said. "We live with her spirit because she was a happy girl."

Both Alvarado and Catano said a $10,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction in the case is in the works.

"We know he is not here but we are asking people to stay tuned to social media and let us know if they hear or see something," Alvarado said. "This was a violent crime."

"Andres was originally from Cali, Colombia, and I believe he is probably there," Catano said. "His grandmother lives there. His mother lives in Bradenton and also his ex-girlfriend. Andres has a 3-year-old daughter with his ex-girlfriend, same age as Jazmin's daughter."

Catano said the motive for the killing was jealousy.

"They were going together about a year," Catano said. "When my sister refused to marry him he became jealous and started watching her."

Alvarado said the Catano case should be a warning to others about obsessive behavior and red flags.

"There was odd behavior, almost to the point of stalking," Alvarado said of Collazos' behavior toward Catano. "I think potential victims could be helped if they learn to recognize radical behavior, things like showing up at someone's work place multiple times.

"Andres Collazos came across a very likeable person," Alvarado added. "People said they never would have thought this would have happened."

Anyone with information about Collazos is asked to call MSO at 941-747-3011, ext. 2518, or Crime Stoppers at 866-634-TIPS.

Richard Dymond, Herald reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7072 or contact him via Twitter @ RichardDymond.

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