Suspect in 1990 killing of Miami Beach woman arrested in Jamaica

Police say DNA evidence links Dale Ewers to fatal shooting of Mercedes Perez

By Peter Burke - Local10.com Managing Editor
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This is a 1990 sketch of Dale Ewers, who was wanted in connection with the death of Mercedes Perez.

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. - A suspect in a 1990 fatal shooting at a South Beach apartment has been arrested in Jamaica, Miami Beach police said.

Dale Ewers, 53, faces charges of first-degree murder, sexual battery, armed robbery and kidnapping in the Sept. 21, 1990, shooting death of Mercedes Perez.

Police said Ewers fatally shot the 34-year-old woman inside her apartment and raped another woman, a childhood friend who had been staying with the victim.

According to a police report, Ewers was deported to Jamaica after his 2008 arrest on charges of burglary and dealing in stolen property in Massachusetts.

Police said DNA samples from the crime scene linked Ewers to Perez's death.

According to the report, Ewers had been living in Jamaica in 2012 when the surviving victim identified him as her attacker.

As detailed in the report, a man, later identified as Ewers, knocked on the apartment door and was greeted by Perez. The surviving victim said Perez told her that a man at the door was looking for the apartment manager's telephone number.

While Perez was looking for the number, Ewers entered the apartment, placed a briefcase on a seat and closed the door, the report said.

Ewers pointed a gun at the other victim and forced her to walk toward the bedroom when Perez walked into the living room, the report said. Ewers fatally shot Perez and then marched the other victim into the bedroom, where he put a T-shirt over her face, raped her and ransacked the apartment, the report said.

A warrant for Ewers' arrest was issued in October, and Jamaican authorities took him into custody on pending burglary charges.

Legal issues regarding the burglary charges were resolved last month, and Jamaica's minister of justice signed a surrender order for Ewers.

Ewers was extradited to the U.S. on Wednesday and brought to the Miami Beach Police Department to face charges of first-degree murder, armed robbery, armed sexual battery and armed kidnapping. He was booked into the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center early Thursday.

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