Police comb Brooklyn for prime suspect in Levin murder
Teen left message on answering machineJune 6, 1997
Web posted at: 6:48 p.m. EDT (2248 GMT)
NEW YORK (CNN) -- Police have launched an intensive search for a 19-year-old man identified as the prime suspect in the murder of Jonathan Levin, the son of Time-Warner Chief Executive Officer Gerald Levin.
Corey Arthur is a former student and basketball player at William Taft High School in the Bronx where Levin, 31, taught English. Levin was found in his apartment Monday -- bound, gagged and shot. Police also believe he may have been tortured during a robbery.
A possible accomplice who may have helped plan the robbery was taken into custody by police Friday morning, and he was helping them in their search.
Earlier Friday, police removed bloody clothing from a Brooklyn apartment rented by the suspect's sister. Police sources say they believe Arthur lived there with his girlfriend.
Shortly after police visited the apartment, SWAT teams surrounded a partially abandoned building in Brooklyn, but failed to find Arthur. Neighbors told police they had seen him as recently as last Saturday selling drugs.
Police sources told CNN that in 1994, Arthur was arrested for having more than 200 vials and three rocks of cocaine. In 1996, he was sentenced to one-to-three years after being convicted of selling a controlled substance.
Message left on answering machine
Levin's partially decomposed body was found in his apartment on Manhattan's Upper West Side. Cash and an ATM card were missing from his wallet, and $800 had been withdrawn from his bank account the previous Friday.
Police now believe that someone aware of the Levin family's wealth bound Levin with duct tape and tortured him into revealing his ATM password by stabbing him with a steak knife. He was later shot in the head.
The killer apparently turned up the volume of a stereo and ran a vacuum cleaner to keep neighbors from hearing the gunshot, according to police.
A videotape from a security camera at the bank was analyzed, but the images weren't clear enough for a positive identification of the person who withdrew the money, police sources told Reuters.
Those sources also say that the identification of Arthur came from a message he left on Levin's answering machine on the day Levin died, in which Arthur allegedly said, "I need to see you. It's important."
There were no signs of forced entry at Levin's apartment, leading police to believe he knew his killer.
Taft student says Levin, Arthur clashed
A female student who attended one of Levin's classes with Arthur told CNN that she witnessed a dispute between the two last year. The woman, who asked not to be identified, said Arthur was acting out and the two clashed.
Other students described Arthur as a varsity basketball player whom they considered to be "cool."
While at Taft High, the low-key Levin did not talk about his background as the son of a media mogul. But a few weeks ago, while giving his English class an assignment to write autobiographies, he reportedly surprised students by revealing the identity of his father.Reuters contributed to this report.
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