Police in Arizona arrest suspect in Manhattan hotel murder

Raad Almansoori, 26, was arrested Sunday in Arizona. He is accused of killing a woman earlier this month in a Manhattan hotel room, but police warn he may have more victims. Photo courtesy of Maricopa County Sheriff's Office/Records

Feb. 21 (UPI) -- A 26-year-old man accused of bludgeoning a woman to death in a Manhattan hotel room earlier this month has been arrested in Arizona where he is accused of attacking two more women, according to authorities who raised worries that he may have additional victims.

Raad Almansoori is believed to be behind the murder of Denisse Oleas-Arancibia, 38, whose body was found Feb. 8 by staff in her room at the SoHo 54 Hotel in Manhattan.

Police had been hunting for him until he was arrested Sunday while driving a stolen car more than 2,400 miles away in Arizona where he is accused of stabbing a McDonald's employee in the restaurant's bathroom and carjacking another woman at knifepoint.

Authorities in New York City on Tuesday called on the public nationwide to contact law enforcement if they have seen Almansoori in their communities so officers can inspect potential connections to additional attacks.

"Anywhere that he's visited there's potential that there are other victims around the country," NYPD Deputy Commissioner of Public Information Tarik Sheppard told reporters Tuesday during a press conference, "and we want to do our due diligence and make sure that we let communities around the country know that they should be aware of who this person is."

New York Police Chief of Detectives Joseph Kenny told reporters Tuesday that he is accused of killing Oleas-Arancibia, whom he identified as an escort, sometime between 2:14 p.m. on Feb. 7 and 10:30 a.m. on Feb. 8 when employees of the hotel found her dead on the floor of her room.

He said the cause of death was blunt force trauma to the head, stating a broken iron was found in the room and that pieces of plastic were removed from her skull.

Their investigation uncovered that Almansoori seemed to have been in a dispute with Oleas-Arancibia over the time he was allowed to stay in her hotel room before she was murdered, Kenny said.

Days later, he is believed to have flown from New York to Arizona where on Saturday he is accused of attempting to carjack a woman and was able to escape the scene. The woman was transported to a local hospital where she is recovering, authorities said.

The next day, the police department in Surprise, Ariz., which is northwest of Phoneix, were called to a McDonald's near West Greenway and North Reems Roads at about 8:30 a.m. to find a woman suffering from multiple stab wounds.

Kenny said the woman was an employee at the fast food restaurant and that she was dragged into the women's restroom where she was stabbed multiple times.

Officers began searching for Almansoori, who was later apprehended in Scottsdale driving a stolen car, the Surprise Police Department said in a statement.

Kenny told reporters that Almansoori told police in Arizona that he was wanted for murder in New York City.

"Google SoHo 54 Hotel," Kenny said Almansoori had told police.

He also told police in Arizona that "he hurt three additional girls in Florida," Kenny said.

Though he has never been arrested in New York, Almansoori has an "extensive" out-of-state criminal record, Kenny said, stating that his recent spree of crimes occurred as he was out on bail since September following an arrest on charges of kidnapping and sexual assault of an escort in Flordia.

According to jail records, Almansoori is being held in Maricopa County on a slew of charges from theft and robbery to homicide.

The police department in Surprise is expected to have a press conference about the case at 10 a.m. Wednesday.