November 18, 1997 in Nation/World

Teen Held In Killing Four Others Sought In Stabbing Death

By The Spokesman-Review

A 17-year-old boy arrested here Monday confessed to being one of two teenagers inside an elderly Coeur d’Alene man’s home when he was killed, police said.

Prosecutors are expected to file murder charges today against the teenager, whose name was not released. Police refused to identify the teen until a determination is made whether he will be tried as an adult.

Four teens who may have been involved in Patrick Carl Victorino’s murder were being sought late Monday, said Coeur d’Alene police Capt. Carl Bergh.

“It’s a matter of time until we’re talking to all of them,” Bergh said. “Certainly, I encourage them to come forward and clear this up with us.”

Victorino, 70, was stabbed several times Sunday night during an apparent robbery attempt. Neighbors said he was known to keep a large amount of cash in his home near First and Harrison.

A woman who lives in an apartment next door reported seeing two teens climb over Victorino’s fence about 7:30 p.m. and run to a car waiting at the end of an alley behind his house. As many as three teens were waiting inside the car, police said.

Two neighbors followed the car long enough to take down its license plate number and provide police with a description of the vehicle, police said. The neighbors’ quick thinking gave police a head start in solving the crime.

“They did everything right and at no time put themselves in jeopardy to do it,” Bergh said.

Police found the suspected get-away car Monday evening about 10 blocks from Victorino’s house. The blue, 1983 Chevrolet Caprice had been abandoned near the intersection of 10th Street and Walnut Avenue.

Clothing, auto parts and other items were scattered throughout the car.

The car’s driver is one of the teens police would like to question, Bergh said. He refused to say if the teen is a suspect, but said the car had not been reported stolen.

Three hours before police found the car Monday, Kootenai County sheriff’s deputies surrounded a house near the corner of Prairieview Drive and Horsehaven Road and arrested the 17-year-old.

Two others playing video games in the living room of the Post Falls home also were detained. Both were later released and are not believed to be involved in Victorino’s murder.

A neighbor found Victorino late Sunday curled up in a back bedroom. He was bleeding from several stab wounds to his back and chest.

Police have not determined if Victorino surprised his attackers or was confronted by the teens once they got inside. The murder weapon has not been found.

“I don’t understand,” neighbor Teresa Lindley said. “Pat wouldn’t just let anyone into his house.”

Victorino’s death shocked neighbors, who described him as a quiet and friendly man.

Victorino told neighbors he left California four years ago to get away from crime. He used to walk regularly to a convenience store near his home for a cup of coffee and a lottery ticket.

“He seemed kind of lonely,” said Cindy Garcia, a clerk at Gittel’s Grocery. “He liked to come in here and talk.”

A teenaged grandson came to live with Victorino last year, but the two had a falling out last summer and the boy left suddenly with his grandmother, neighbors said. Victorino was unable to reconcile with his wife and filed for divorce in August.

The teen who confessed to the crime knew Victorino through his grandson, Bergh said.

“He was an old guy who lived by himself, didn’t bother anyone,” neighbor Jerry Schuler said. “There was no reason for this to happen.”

, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: 2 Color Photo

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