Man Charged in Coral Gables Double Murder

Jose Rojas was denied bond for his murder charges Sunday

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Police on Monday identified Jose Rojas, 43, as the Miami man charged in the murder of two people who were found dead inside a Coral Gables office Friday. He was denied bond during a hearing Sunday.

    Police on Monday identified a Miami man charged in the murder of two people found dead inside a Coral Gables office last week.

    Jose Rojas, 43, was arrested Friday on two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of armed kidnapping and one count of attempted armed robbery, according to an arrest affidavit.

    Rojas was denied bond during a hearing Sunday.

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    Luis Diaz, who runs a cell phone store near the business where two people were killed in Coral Gables Friday, said "nothing can justify taking another person?s life."

    Police say 59-year-old Frances C. Venezia and an unidentified man were killed inside a business at 801 Monterrey Street Friday afternoon.

    Though officials have not released information on what relationship Rojas had with the victims,  Rojas is also employed at 801 Monterrey Street, according to the affidavit.

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    Shortly after responding to the address in response to a woman calling for help, police found Rojas on Southwest 8th Street with no shoes, carrying a bag and appearing suspicious, according to the report. Rojas fled when he saw police but was detained a short time later covered in blood, authorities said.

    Once in custody, Rojas admitted to police that on his way to work, he stopped at a store and bought items that he would later use to torture his victims, the report said. When he arrived at the office, he placed a dark hood over his head, concealing his face, and slipped on a pair of gloves, the affidavit explained.

    Rojas admitted to police he bound the victims with duct tape and forced Venezia to write him a check from her checking account, the affidavit said.

    He then struck the woman with a mop stick after she started screaming, the report said. Since Venezia would not stop yelling, the man also began to scream, Rojas told officials.

    The report said Rojas does not remember what happened next but remembers pools of blood in the office and on himself.

    When police arrived on scene Friday, they found the victims’ hands and feet bound with duct tape and their mouths covered with rags and tape, according to the report.

    A broken mop stick, known as a Spanish mop, was found on scene next to the dead woman as well as an air soft pellet gun with the characteristics of a semi automatic pistol, police said.

    The victims had multiple cuts and suffered from blunt trauma, authorities said in report.

    Rojas remains behind bars without bond. It was unknown whether he has an attorney.

    On Monday, Rojas' sister, Vivian Ortero, released a statement, saying the family was devastated by the incident.

    "My brother Jose is a good husband and a wonderful father who has never been a violent man. All we know is he was going through a difficult time and we will continue to support him," Ortero said. "Our deepest condolences go out to the victim's family and we will keep everyone involved in this tragedy in our prayers."

    Officials have not released a motive for the killings.