SOUTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) - Police have arrested a suspect after the body of a man was found in the trunk of a car parked outside a Walmart in Southwest Miami-Dade.
Miami-Dade Police said officers were called to the scene in the area of Southwest 137th Avenue and 288th Street, just after 4 p.m. Thursday.
According to investigators, just before noon, a man spotted a white Honda Accord he believed belonged to his brother, who had been reported missing in Monroe County since Tuesday.
“The individual sees this vehicle, and he starts following it,” said Miami-Dade Police Detective Chris Thomas, “and he’s pretty convinced that this vehicle is the vehicle that belongs to his brother.”
Officials said the man followed the vehicle from Monroe County to the Walmart parking lot.
“He was in Monroe County driving around the area where he possibly could have known that his brother would have frequented, and he saw this vehicle that matched the description of his brother’s, and he decided to follow it, and that led him here to the Walmart parking lot,” said Thomas. “Once he arrived in the parking lot with the vehicle, the police officers were able to take the three individuals that were inside of the vehicle into custody.”
Two of the subjects taken into custody were released. However, officers arrested 38-year-old Justin Earnshaw, who they say confessed to the murder.
During the investigation, detectives said an odor was then noticed coming from the Honda Accord.
“The officers noticed a foul odor coming from inside of the vehicle, so they searched the vehicle, and what they found was a covered-up deceased body in the trunk of this vehicle,” said Thomas.
Authorities identified the victim as 39-year-old Jose Daniel Munoz.
Officers removed various items from the vehicle, including a couple of duffel bags, a plastic shopping bag and what appears to be a woman’s purse. Crime scene investigators then loaded the items into a truck for processing.
Police blocked off a large section of the parking lot for hours while they investigated.
Walmart shoppers were left in disbelief.
“I really am speechless. I don’t even know what to say, and this is where I live,” said shopper Mari Angela Gallesi.
“I never expected to see that. It’s hard to process in your mind, very hard, and sad,” said a woman who shops at this Walmart.
Thursday night, 7News cameras captured a flatbed tow truck taking the Accord into the medical examiner’s office in Miami.
Earnshaw has since been charged with second degree murder, possession of cocaine and giving police a false name.
If you have any information that could help investigators, call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a $1,000 reward.
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