Miami-Dade police

‘We Want Them Off the Street': Murder Victim's Family Reacts to New Arrest

A fifth suspect in the brutal murder of a teen in Homestead has been arrested, authorities said Thursday.

Joseph Michael Cabrera, 23, was in St. Louis, Missouri, with Miami-Dade Police detectives and U.S. Marshals, officials said.

Cabrera was awaiting extradition to South Florida Thursday. It was unknown if he's hired an attorney.

Cabrera is one of five people charged in the murder of 17-year-old Jose Amaya-Guardado, who was found buried in a shallow grave near his school in July by a family member. The police report said his face was caved-in by a machete.

The other defendants, Amaya-Guardado's classmates at Homestead Job Corps, include 20-year-old Kaheem Justin Arbelo, 18-year-old Jonathan Isiah Lucas, 19-year-old Christian Raul Colon and 18-year-old Desiray Alisha Strickland.

All four were charged with second-degree murder. The exact charges against Cabrera were unknown.

Strickland confessed to planning the murder with the others and told detectives they lured Guardado into the woods and attacked him with a machete. They set fire to the evidence and then Strickland told detectives she had sex near Guardado's dead body, police said.

You could see the pain in the family's eyes, after police announced Cabrera's arrest.

"I feel happy because we wanted them to arrest everybody, because we don't want those criminals to stay on the street. It can happen to other kids," said the victim's brother, Freddy Amaya-Guardado.

It wasn't police who found the body, it was the victim's brother.

"I cannot stop thinking about it. Every time I pass by there, I cannot stop looking back to where I found him. I'm always looking back," Freddy expressed.

Now the family is looking forward, hiring an attorney to help determine whether they should take legal action against the school or anyone involved.

They're hoping to find out why Jose was killed in the first place, and what part the fifth suspect may have played.

"I don't want them to be on the street and doing other things. The only thing I want is, they can keep away, if possible, forever or more," Freddy said.

As for a motive, family said Jose may have owed them money, but police aren't saying anything on that. The arrest warrants have been sealed.

Police said they don't expect to make any other arrests in this case.

The U.S. Department of Labor announced on Thursday it's shutting down the Job Corps Center in Homestead for at least the near future:

"The U.S. Department of Labor has extended the suspension of education and training classes at the Homestead Job Corps Center in Florida and directed the transfer of students to other centers in Florida and nearby states. This pause in operations will provide additional time for Job Corps to complete its review of safety and security at the Homestead center and to consider actions to further strengthen oversight and accountability of Job Corps contractors.

We believe this action is in the best interests of the students enrolled at Homestead. Notices are being sent to students and families by the center operator, and Job Corps will take steps to ensure students can continue training that meets their goals and career plans.

Homestead students are on summer break, which was previously scheduled to end on September 9. No date has been set for the completion of the review or resumption of services and activities at the center.

The safety and security of Job Corps students remains our top priority and drives our actions."

Contact Us