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Suspect arrested for grand larceny, murder of Las Vegas man

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Suspect arrested for grand larceny, murder of Las Vegas man

By Krista Hostetler. CREATED Jul 25, 2014

Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- A suspect has been arrested for the 2012 murder of a Las Vegas man.

Giovanni Kurtze has been charged with murder, grand larceny and robbery.

On Oct. 14, 2012, Las Vegas police were notified by the San Bernardino Sheriff's Department in California that they had been involved in a chase with Kurtze. The vehicle had Nevada plates.

The pursuit lasted more than five miles and reached speeds in excess of 100 miles per hour.

Kurtze wrecked the vehicle and fled on foot for approximately one-mile before being apprehended. He was not the registered owner of the vehicle.

California officers requested Las Vegas police make contact with the registered owner, Froilan Abellera, in Las Vegas. Officers went to the home, but no one answered.

On Oct. 15, 2012, Las Vegas police received a call from a woman saying her employee, Abellera, missed work that day and didn't call in. A welfare check was then requested.

Las Vegas Fire & Rescue paramedics responded to the home and found an adult male, later identified as Abellera, dead in the bathtub, under what they believed were suspicious circumstances.

A search of the apartment revealed it had been ransacked. Several empty white envelopes were on the living room floor; a coworker said he kept money in picture frames in his apartment. Every picture frame was taken apart and money was found in almost all of them, in white envelopes, similar to the empty ones found on the floor.

Blood was found on a loveseat, on the carpet and the walls.

An autopsy performed on Abellera's body found in excess of 40 stab and incised wounds, many of them superficial or non-life threatening, indicating possible torture.

A search of Abellera's impounded vehicle used in the police chase by Kurtze found pillow cases that matched bedding from Abellera's bedroom. Others had blood stains on them. Other items included men's clothing, jewelry, coins and a wallet with an assortment of items in the name of Abellera.

In addition, a single black knit glove and folding knife were found in the car and white envelopes, similar to those found in the victim's apartment.

In an interview with police, Kurtze said he saw a man get out of his vehicle and left it running with the keys in it. He said he got in and drove away. He then drove to California with a girl he had picked up, where the police chase took place.

He denied having ever met Abellera.

In December 2013, detectives later identified a palm print lifted from the bathroom counter near the bathtub where Abellera's body was discovered as belonging to the hand of Kurtze.

Kurtze was arrested on July 24. He was transported to Las Vegas and booked on an outstanding warrant issued in March for his arrest on this homicide case.

He was transported from Salinas Valley State Prison in California where he had been serving time on a burglary case.