BRADENTON -- Detectives have identified a person of interest in one of two unsolved murder cases that got 2016 off to a deadly start.
Julio Tellez, 26, was shot to death between 12:45 p.m. and 1 p.m. Jan. 1 in the 500 block of 60th Avenue Terrace West, Bradenton. A second person was injured in the apparent shootout.
About a month ago, detectives were able to identify Mario Alejandro De La Rosa Alvarez as a person of interest in the case, the Manatee County Sheriff's Office reported.
De La Rosa Alvarez, 33, of Sarasota, was identified after a possible suspect vehicle in Tellez's fatal shooting was found burned, sheriff's office spokesman Dave Bristow said. He is now wanted in connection with that arson.
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A second case from New Year's Day remains open with no suspects or persons of interest identified.
Demetrius Robinson, 37, and Florence Randall, 31, were found shot to death early New Year's Day in the home they shared in the 5700 block of 11th Street East in Bradenton. The cou
ple is believed to have been targeted. No one has been arrested.
The sheriff's office continues to urge people to report anything they know about either case, including De La Rosa Alvarez's whereabouts.
In the death of Tellez, there is still a combined reward of up to $8,000 being offered by Gold Star Club of Manatee County Inc. and Crime Stoppers of Manatee County for any information that leads to an arrest.
In the fatal shooting of Robinson and Randall, there is still a combined reward of up $13,000.
Detectives also have a person of interest in the only other unsolved homicide case in Manatee this year.
Collin Mahoney, 21, was found shot to death Jan. 31 in a boarded-up house in the 500 block of 12th Street Drive West in Palmetto.
Detectives believe he was killed the prior afternoon not far from where he was found. It is also believed to be a targeted killing.
Palmetto Police Chief Scott Tyler said detectives have sent off a significant amount of forensic evidence in the case to be tested.
"We are anxiously awaiting those results," Tyler said. "We are very hopeful that the forensics will give us the evidence we need to close the case."
In the Mahoney investigation, the Palmetto Community Redevelopment Agency will match the Crime Stoppers reward for information leading to an arrest.
Anyone with any information about any homicide case can call the sheriff's office at 941-747-3011, ext. 2159
Jessica De Leon, Herald law enforcement reporter, can be reached at 941- 745-7049. You can follow her on Twitter @JDeLeon1012.