On Friday, January 22, 2016, PCSO Homicide detectives obtained an arrest warrant for and took into custody 36-year-old George Beato of 122 Mango Drive in Davenport for First Degree Murder, Tampering With Evidence, Providing False Info to Law Enforcement during Capital Felony Investigation, and several Fraud charges, in the homicide investigation of 38-year-old Alexanter Vigo, Jr., who lived in the same neighborhood as Beato.
An excerpt from the affidavit, which is self-explanatory, follows:
“On 1/19/16 at approximately 1545 hours, Polk County Sheriff's Office deputies responded to the wooded area near the intersection of Sand Mine Rd and Island Club West in reference to a death investigation. The on scene investigation revealed that the decedent was located by an area resident who was walking through the wooded area and observed an adult male body lying on the side of a walking trail near the walking trail.
The decedent was identified as Alexander Vigo Jr. from 112 Mango Drive, Davenport (Island Club West subdivision). The victim was last seen alive at approximately 2341 hours (11:41 p.m.) on 1/17/16, when he was observed on surveillance video walking out of the Island Club West subdivision towards the roadway near the wooded area where he was ultimately discovered on 1/19/16.
A review of Polk County Sheriff's Office records revealed two (2) reports by area residents of hearing gunshots in the area of Sand Mine Road near the Highlands Reserve subdivision on 1/17/16 between 2340-2400 hours (11:40 p.m. – midnight).
An autopsy was performed on the victim on 1/20/16 at the 10th District Medical Examiner's Office. Dr. Vera Volnikh determined the victim suffered between two (2) and four (4) gunshot wounds. During the autopsy, two (2) projectiles were recovered from the decedent's body. In Dr. Volnikh's opinion, the projectiles were a small caliber, most likely .32 or .380. Dr. Volnikh concluded the victim's cause of death was "Multiple Gunshot Wounds" and the manner of death was "Homicide".
On 1/20/16, a grid search was conducted in the area where the decedent's body was found. Three (3) shell casings were located during this search. At the base of an embankment approximately ten (10) yards from where the victim's body was located. All three (3) casings had the same head stamp of "G.F.L. 7.65mm". The shell casing appeared to be in fairly good condition. No firearms or weapons were located in the immediate vicinity of the decedent's body.”
George Beato had a prior arrest by the Orlando Police Department:
“A check of Mr. Beato's criminal history revealed an arrest by the Orlando Police Department in 2008, for Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon. The case was ultimately dropped; however, a copy of the incident report was obtained and the following details of the incident were learned. On 08/14/08, Orlando Police Department responded to a reported shooting. Responding Officers observed two (2) Hispanic males running from the reported incident location, one (1) of which was identified as Mr. Beato. The officer observed Mr. Beato throw an object into some bushes. A 9mm firearm was later recovered from the bushes where Mr. Beato was observed throwing the object. Allegations were made that Mr. Beato fired one (1) shot at the victim. The incident stemmed from an earlier altercation between Mr. Beato, his family and the victim who was a neighbor in Mr. Beato's apartment complex.”
Deputies contacted the Shoot Straight gun store regarding the unique ammunition recovered:
“Store personnel advised 7.65 mm ammunition is for all practical purposes a .32 caliber round and could be shot from any .32 caliber firearm. They further advised however the stamping of the 7.65mm is not common and is ammunition not commonly carried by retailers and would most likely need to be special ordered and/or ordered via internet.
During the homicide investigation, a search warrant was obtained for George Beato's residence at 122 Mango Drive, Davenport. While a search was being conducted at Beato's residence, Beato was interviewed. Post-Miranda, Beato repeatedly stated he does not own any firearms and that he has not touched or possessed any firearms since August 2015 when he shot military issued firearms as part of his National Guard training.
Beato further insisted he did not own or possess any firearms or ammunition. Beato repeatedly stated he did not have any ammunition stored in his residence. During a search of Beato's home office closet, a gun case was located. A bag of .38 special ammunition was located inside the gun case.
On 1/22/16, interviews were conducted with Marlene Best (property manager at Island Club West) and Leidy Ugalde (Management Company receptionist). Both stated that on 1/21/16, Beato arrived at the management office while Detective Music was attempting to review the surveillance video covering the subdivision entrance and community building parking area. According to Detective Music, Ugalde and Best, Beato insisted that he be permitted to view the surveillance video footage but was denied access by the management company. According to Best and Ugalde, Beato left the management office but contacted them again via telephone later in the afternoon and again demanded to see the video surveillance recordings.”
A review of the video surveillance footage from the neighborhood shows the victim walking out of the front of the subdivision at 2342 hours, and another person who appears to be watching and following the victim at a distance. The person is then seen at 2347 hours walking stealthily back into the subdivision towards Beato’s house. A few minutes later Beato appears on surveillance video arriving home and walking into his house carrying a firearm. Beato is clearly observed on video footage at approximately 2348 hours (11:45 p.m.) on 1/17/16 carrying a semi-automatic firearm upon entering his residence.
During the search of Beato’s home, detectives found the following items related to counterfeiting and trafficking in fraudulent credit cards and personal identification:
a cardboard box containing miscellaneous gift cards, credit cards, and mini CD's
a black nylon bag containing miscellaneous credit cards and gift cards
a small yellow envelope containing various blank cards with magnetic strips
a black wallet containing a United States Government identification card, student identification cards, business cards, a social security card, miscellaneous debit/credit cards (all bearing the name George Beato), and a Medicaid card
On January 22, 2016, Beato was booked into the Polk County Jail (where he remains on no bond) on the following 14 charges:
First Degree Murder
Giving False Info to LEO During Capital Felony Investigation
Destruction/Tampering With Evidence (4 counts)
Trafficking in Counterfeit
Use of Scanning Device to Access Personal Info
Use of Reencoder to Transfer Info
Criminal Use of Personal ID
Unlawful Possession of Personal ID
Falsification of Credit Card (3 counts)