TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The day after a Miami Beach man was arrested in connection with the 2014 slaying of a well-known Florida State University law professor, police continue to investigate the slaying as a murder for hire, sources close to the investigation say.
Other sources say more arrests are expected.
Tallahassee police remained tight-lipped Thursday about the arrest of 34-year-old Sigfredo Garcia, who has been charged with first-degree murder in the death of Dan Markel nearly two years ago.
Markel, 41, was found in his garage with a gunshot wound to the head on July 18, 2014. He was sitting in the driver's seat of his car. He died at the hospital that night.
At a conference Thursday, Tallahassee police officials declined to elaborate on a possible motive in the killing of the renowned legal scholar or whether other suspects are being considered. A probable cause affidavit in Garcia's arrest was sealed by a judge at the request of police Thursday morning.
Garcia, who has an extensive criminal history in South Florida, was arrested by Hallandale Beach police at 9:11 p.m. Wednesday in his black 2001 Lexus at a gas station just outside of North Miami Beach.
During a subsequent search, police found a clear red plastic baggie containing suspected cocaine in his wallet, a police report says.
Garcia was booked into the Broward County Jail, where he remains without bond on the murder charge.
During Thursday’s press conference, Tallahassee police spokesman David Northway repeatedly declined to divulge details about Garcia or the investigation.
"This case is ongoing and continuing," Northway said. "So if we were to release all of the details of the case, that would jeopardize our case that we are continuing to work."
George Dekle, a former assistant prosecutor and University of Florida law professor, said the arrest affidavit was likely sealed because the investigation has not yet been completed.
He also theorized that others connected to the crime may be tipped off if facts of the case were to be released.
“If there are other people out there,” Dekle said, “the investigation may be compromised.”
Northway said police have maintained contact with Markel’s family throughout the investigation, but could not elaborate to what extent.
Markel's former wife, Wendi Adelson, who now lives in the Miami area, also was on the FSU law school faculty. She officially resigned her post in January 2015 and has not commented publicly on the case. She did not return requests for comment Thursday.
The two divorced in 2013 and were fighting in court over the custody agreement for their two young sons. Family court documents show Markel argued with his ex-wife, who sought to relocate to South Florida with the children.
Garcia appeared for a Broward County bond hearing Thursday morning in a blue jail jumpsuit. He declined the assistance of a public defender, telling Judge Mary Rudd Robinson he retained an attorney on Wednesday.
When Robinson asked if he knew a warrant had been issued for his arrest on murder charges Garcia said, “No, ma’am.”
He added: "I didn't know I needed a lawyer until yesterday."
The judge allowed Garcia access to his cellphone to contact his attorney, whose name he said he could not remember.
A suspect in Markel’s killing long eluded police. Police repeatedly appealed to the public in the hopes leads would surface.
But solid leads were few and the case grew cold.
Ultimately, the FBI helped bring Garcia in Wednesday night. An FBI spokeswoman said agents with its Miami office assisted officers with the arrest.