Florida detectives have arrested a man on Tuesday who is believed to have had connection with the murder of a priest in Mississippi.
Jeremy Manieri, 31, has been wanted by Waveland, Mississippi, police for the death of Rev. Edward Everitt on Sunday.
“Mr. Manieri was one of the last people … that we know of to see Father Everitt,” Waveland Police Chief James Varnell said. “We believe that his motive is robbery.”
70-year-old Edward Everitt was found dead on Monday at the Dominican Retreat house in Waveland, says Varnell.
“This tragic loss of Father Ed’s life leaves a deeply felt void in all our lives,” Bishop Robert Muench of Baton Rouge said.
Everitt was apparently spending a few days vacation at the Waveland house which was rebuilt after Hurricane Katrina.
Everitt and Manieri met two weeks before the death ever occured. Everitt was planning on hiring Manieri to do a construction project at the Waveland house.
Judd reported that police had gotten a “very detailed confession” from Manieri while he was arrested.
Manieri and Everitt had an argument on Sunday at the Waveland house when Manieri found a firearm and shot Everitt twice, he described during his confession. Manieri then took Everitt’s wallet and his 2011 silver GMC HHR and called his ex-wife.
Manieri told his ex-wife that he was working on an oil rig and was going to take her, her son, and his daughter to Disney World in Florida once he got his first paycheck. The family left Sunday night after the murder and stopped in Mobile, Alabama, for a night.
Manieri and his family arrived an hour away from Orlando at Polk County early Tuesday and stopped at a Days Inn.
The family was planning to buy three-day passes to Disney World that day, but police tracked down the stolen vehicle and showed him as 20 minutes away according to their GPS tracking system.
The Polk County SWAT team arrested Manieri around 4:30 a.m.
“Quite frankly, he left a trail of evidence that a blind man could’ve followed,” said Judd.
Varnell said Manieri has had a long history with the police, including charges of a child molestation in which he was convicted a year later in 2006.
Manieri was put in the Polk County Jail for Tuesday night while Waveland police took him on Wednesday.
“Fr. Ed was a man of great energy, both preaching and caring for others,” said a statement from the Southern Dominican Province. “(He) will be profoundly missed by his blood family, his Dominican family and all whom he has served as a Dominican and priest over his many years of ministry.”