By Dan Morse
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, February 10, 2011; 11:09 PM
For four years, Detective Larry Haley worked Montgomery County homicides, methodically piecing together cases that took up to nine months to close. Wanting more stable hours, he switched back to patrol.
Then on Tuesday, during just his fifth week back on the beat, he caught a murder suspect inside of two minutes.
According to arrest records filed in court Thursday, Haley was driving his patrol car in eastern Silver Spring when he heard an unusual dispatch over his radio. A man had just called 911 from a pay phone at 8875 Piney Branch Rd. The man was still on the phone, and he told the 911 operator that he had killed his wife two hours earlier. The caller didn't give his name.
That's about three blocks away, Haley told himself, and he zipped over.
Haley could see a man on a phone. He got out of his car, ordered the man to the ground and handcuffed him. Haley noticed injuries to the man's arms and feet.
"What happened to your wife?" Haley asked him, according to the arrest records.
"I killed her," the man said.
The man then gave Haley his name: Bernardo P. Flores-Olvera, 32. He also gave his address and apartment number on Quebec Terrace. Other officers were sent there. When they went inside, they found the body of Elizabeth Velez Vasquez, 33, with more than 40 stab and cut wounds, according to arrest records and a prosecutor's brief description Thursday in court.
"I would have liked to catch a break like that on some of my cases" as a detective, Haley said. "But these things don't normally resolve themselves this quickly."
Flores-Olvera killed his wife while two children - 2 and 3 months old - were at home, police said. Flores-Olvera then took the children to a relative's home before going to the pay phone, according to police.
In a news release, authorities said Flores-Olvera stabbed his wife with a knife and "another sharp instrument." The weapon has been described by authorities as "ice-pick-like," but no further details about it could be learned.
Flores-Olvera was ordered held without bond by Montgomery District Court Judge Barry A. Hamilton. Federal authorities have lodged a detainer on him, an indication that he could be in the country illegally and be deported if and when he completes a prison sentence.
He is charged with first-degree murder.
Court records show he had not retained or been assigned a lawyer.