DETROIT - Police could be one step closer to solving the murder of a beloved Detroit firefighter, believing a carjacking suspect with a long criminal history could be linked to the deadly robbery.
A police source says they have been looking at this guy from the beginning. he knew the victim and as FOX 2 discovered, is no stranger to the law.
Police may be one step closer to solving the murder case of 59-year-old David Madrigal..
Timmy Lynn Soto, who was arrested for an armed carjacking last week, is considered a person of interest in the murder of the Detroit firefighter.
The DFD veteran was four months from retiring when police say he was killed by blunt force trauma to the head.
The attack happened during an apparent robbery last month at his home on Vaughan on the city's west side.
One woman, who wanted us to conceal her identity, claims Soto once lived at her house with her ex-boyfriend - which is across the street from Madrigal's.
She claims Madrigal was friendly with Soto, who was paid to do odd jobs.
"He knew him and Tim has been to his house and also helped done work," she said. "So he would know what Dave has in his house and he would go to fire station a couple times to say to him."
But she says Madrigal eventually cut ties with Soto when he learned of his criminal past, which included facing three counts of assault with a deadly weapon. He was put on tether but was said to have cut it off.
Several items were stolen from Madrigal's home including his safe and 2015 Ford Explorer, which was later found torched on Bangor Street - not far from where Soto last lived on the city's southwest side.
Detroit police have been looking at Soto as a person of interest but he still hasn't been charged for Madrigal's murder.
"I can totally imagine it," the neighbor said. "Because he is known for doing things like that robbing and carjacking. It wouldn't surprise me.
"If it was him hope justice gets served."
FOX 2 spoke to Detroit Fire Commissioner Eric Jones tonight - he told me they are very grateful for the hard work Detroit police have put into this case. They are pleased with the progress and hope the case is closed soon.
Court records show Soto had been charged with violent crimes dating back to 2005.