Jonathan Alonso detained for questioning in Miami Beach homicide

Suspect, 30, lived with Louis Piper, authorities say

By Amanda Batchelor - Senior Digital Editor, Erica Rakow - Reporter, Andrew Perez - Reporter

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. - Jonathan Alonso, 30, was detained for questioning Friday about the killing of a Miami Beach man.

Miami Beach police said the victim, Louis Piper, 61, was found dead Wednesday inside his condominium at 1800 Sunset Harbour Drive.

Residents at Sunset Harbour South told Local 10 News that Alonso was romantically involved with the victim. Police confirmed that the couple lived together.

Miami Beach police spokesman Ernesto Rodriguez said police went to the condo Wednesday to conduct a welfare check because Piper had not been to work for a few days.

"It's important to stress over the past few days our crime scene investigators and detectives have been working on collecting a lot of evidence from the scene," Rodriguez said. "This is in its entirety a forensic case for us right now so we're working very patiently and methodically to acquire as much evidence as possible from that scene."

Louis Piper, 61, was found dead Wednesday inside his Miami Beach condominium.

Rodriguez said Alonso was last seen leaving the building Wednesday holding a small pug, which neighbors said belonged to the victim.

"The main goal here is safety (and) to apprehend anyone who may have been involved at this point," Rodriguez said. "This is why we're coming forward, because we have identified a witness or potential suspect."

Rodriguez said Miami police found Alonso at a park near the American Airlines Arena. Zach Schwartz said he saw Alonso at the park.

"It seemed like he was causing a bit of a ruckus," he said.

Rodriguez said police have been called to the couple's condominium before, but was unsure about how many times.

Local 10 News obtained court records showing that Piper once had a restraining order against Alonso and had also previously filed legal papers trying to evict him from his condo.

"He was always really friendly to us and (was) just a really nice guy, and it's just so tragic," a neighbor said about Piper.

Piper was the vice president of commercial acquisitions at Bayview Asset Management. Co-workers told Local 10 News reporter Glenna Milberg that Piper worked for the company for more than a decade and was well liked and respected. They said their office is struggling with his loss. 

Authorities did not immediately say how Piper died, but said they are investigating the death as a homicide.

A medical examiner is conducting an autopsy to determine a cause of death.

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