Fifth murder charge filed against man arrested after manhunt

10 months 1 week 5 days ago March 09, 2016 Mar 9, 2016 Wednesday, March 09 2016 Wednesday, March 09, 2016 2:17:00 PM CST in News
By: Amy Munneke and James Packard, KOMU 8 Digital Producers

MONTGOMERY COUNTY – A man charged for the murders of four people in Kansas City, Kansas, was charged Wednesday for the murder of a fifth person in Montgomery County.

The Montgomery Circuit Court filed first degree murder charges against 40-year-old Pablo Antonio Serrano-Vitorino. He was also charged with armed criminal action and first degree burglary.

Serrano-Vitorino was the subject of a manhunt Tuesday, starting in Kansas City, Kansas.

Missouri State Highway Patrol troopers arrested Serrano-Vitorino early Wednesday morning.

The manhunt began Tuesday morning after troopers responded to a report of an abandoned Ford pickup truck on eastbound I-70 in Montgomery County. The truck matched the description of one tied to a murder investigation in Kansas City, Kansas, according to a probable cause statement.

An MSHP Sergeant said shortly after troopers found the abandoned truck, they were dispatched to 432 Tree Farm Road, near New Florence, where someone reported gunfire. When law enforcement arrived, they found the body of a 49-year-old man who lived in the house.

The MSHP said in the probable cause statement troopers spoke with the victim's wife, who said her husband had been involved in a physical confrontation with a man holding a gun in the couple's garage. She said she didn't know the man. The woman said she ran to the home's attic while the two men struggled, and called 911. She said she heard a single gunshot shortly after she called, according to the statement.

Authorities said the woman then saw the man who had been fighting her husband leaving the house on foot.

While working at the house, investigators recovered a magazine containing live rounds matching the description of an AK-47 rifle used in the homicides in Kansas City, Kansas.

Troopers said they arrested Serrano-Vitorino after responding to a report of a different possible shooting near Highway 19 and I-70 about 12:18 a.m. Wednesday. They said Serrano-Vitorino had a weapon with him that matched the description the deceased man's wife provided. The weapon, they said, also matched the ammunition found at the house near New Florence and the ammunition found at the homicide scene in Kansas City, Kansas.

Troopers said Serrano-Vitorino had a Mexican identification card with him and keys to the truck found abandoned on I-70.

The Montgomery County Prosecuting Attorney's Office scheduled a preliminary hearing for Serrano-Vitorino for April 28. He is being held without bond. 

[Editor's note: This story has been updated to include more information about the manhunt and arrest.]

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