Caretaker receives Cunanan reward from gay groupJuly 28, 1997
Web posted at: 2:13 p.m. EDT (1813 GMT)
(CNN) -- As police kept looking into whether Andrew Cunanan had help in his flight from the law, the man whose telephone tip led police to the murder suspect's houseboat hideout was in New York on Monday to receive a reward from a gay and lesbian group.
At a news conference at a Greenwich Village park, Fernando Carreira received his first check of $2,500 from the New York City Gay and Lesbian Anti-Violence Project.
The remainder of the $10,000 reward the Anti-Violence Project offered will be given to him shortly, according to a group spokeswoman. At least three of Cunanan's alleged victims were gay men. Cunanan was also gay.
Meanwhile, various government agencies were considering whether Carreira should also get additional rewards totaling another $45,000.
"We have to give him credit for bringing this whole bad situation to an end," Carreira's attorney, David Aelion, told CNN in a live interview on Monday.
Cunanan, suspected of killing five men in a cross-country murder spree, killed himself on Wednesday aboard a Miami Beach houseboat with the same .40-caliber gun he allegedly used to kill three of his victims, including fashion designer Gianni Versace.
Carreira, 71, is the houseboat caretaker who discovered that someone was inside the houseboat. Hearing a shot, he ran outside and called his son, who then called police.
No decision on several other rewards
No decision has been made on several other rewards offered in the Cunanan case. Those include $10,000 each from Miami Beach, Metro-Dade County, Florida, the FBI and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement; and $5,000 from the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau.
New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, who also announced a $10,000 reward, told reporters Sunday the city's reward would not be given to Carreira. Giuliani said Carreira did not meet the conditions of the reward.
Asked if he deserved the various rewards, Carreira told CNN, "Oh yes, why not?"
"I'm the one who was in danger. I'm the one who stopped all this killing," he said in a live interview on Monday.
Miami Beach officials have said Carreira did not qualify for the rewards, which called for capture and conviction of Cunanan. In response, Carreira has filed suit against both Miami Beach and Metro-Dade County to claim the reward money.
On Sunday, Miami Beach Police Chief Richard Barreto seemed to indicate that Carreira would end up with the reward money.
"Short of having any association with Andrew Cunanan he will get the money," Barreto told a Miami television station. "If his whole story pans out, then he should get it."
Safe yields no clues
Investigators continued to try to pin down who, if anyone, might have helped Cunanan in the eight days between Versace's shooting and Cunanan's suicide, when the 27-year-old San Diego native was the target of an intensive manhunt.
They say they have made no connection between Cunanan and Torsten Reineck, the German businessman who owns the houseboat. Reineck, who is sought on a European warrant for fraud, spoke to authorities in Las Vegas, where he owns the gay-oriented Apollo Health Club & Spa.
A small safe found near Cunanan's body appeared to provide few clues. It contained only a collector's coin and some paperwork, a police spokesman said late Sunday night.
Police also refuted a report that Cunanan used his last bullet to kill himself. The spokesman would not specify how many bullets were found.
Reuters contributed to this report.
Special section: The death of Cunanan
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