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Versace cremated; stolen vehicle sought

poster

Cunanan link probed in new Miami-area killing

July 17, 1997
Web posted at: 4:06 p.m. EDT (2006 GMT)

Latest developments:

SOUTH FLORIDA (CNN) -- Law enforcement agencies, flooded with tips about the alleged killer of fashion designer Gianni Versace, searched for a stolen vehicle thought to have been driven by suspected serial killer Andrew Cunanan.

The Broward County Sheriff's Department said it had issued a bulletin for the vehicle, a black Nissan Pathfinder bearing the Florida license plate number LLM-782, based on a tip received by the FBI.

Police are searching for a:
Black Nissan Pathfinder
Florida License
Plate Number
LLM-782

Meantime, investigators were checking for a possible link to a new Miami murder.

A man fitting Cunanan's description was seen Thursday running from a murder scene in Miami Springs, an upscale neighborhood 15 miles from Tuesday's Versace killing.

Police would not say how the victim, Dr. Silvio Alfonso, was killed.

Other law enforcement sources described Alfonso as being gay, as were some of Cunanan's alleged victims.

"In no way, shape or form have we made any connection between this case and the Miami Beach-Versace one," cautioned Dennis Morales, a Metro-Dade police spokesman.

Private, public memorials planned

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Versace's body was cremated in Miami on Wednesday after a private memorial service attended by family members, one day after the 50-year-old designer was shot twice in the head with a .40-caliber handgun on the steps of his Miami Beach mansion.

His family reportedly took the ashes to Italy for a another private memorial service in Milan.

A memorial service open to the public will be held Friday at St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Miami Beach.

Man on surveillance video may be the suspect

A videotape from a security camera at a hotel near Versace's home shows a man in shorts and a T-shirt running down an alley after the murder. Witnesses said the killer wore similar clothing.

The man is seen on the upper left side of the black and white image, moving away from the camera. Although the surveillance tape shows the time as being 8:47 p.m., authorities believe the time code was improperly set and that the correct time is 8:47 a.m.

Cunanan, 27, is either charged with murder or is a suspect in four other killings in Minnesota, Illinois and New Jersey since April 29. He was added to the FBI's 10 Most Wanted list last month.

A nationwide search for Cunanan was under way and Attorney General Janet Reno said Thursday that the FBI was "seeking assistance from the public" to apprehend the suspect.

Authorities have offered no motive for Versace's killing and did not say whether he and Cunanan might have known each other.

Suspect possibly seen in Boca Raton

Hours after the killing, witnesses reported seeing a man resembling Cunanan outside "Choices," a nightclub in Boca Raton, Florida, about 40 miles (64 km) north of Miami Beach.

A nightclub patron followed the man to his vehicle -- the stolen Pathfinder -- jotted down the license plate number and notified authorities.

Investigators determined the vehicle was stolen on June 30. It was not immediately clear who owned the Pathfinder.

Reno said a $10,000 reward was being offered for information leading to Cunanan's capture.

Correspondent Susan Candiotti contributed to this report.

 
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