Man who found Versace murderer tells story 20 years later

MIAMI BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - After he found the murderer of Gianni Versace 20 years ago, a South Florida man was thrust into the spotlight.

The murder sparked a national manhunt. On July 15, 1997, famed designer Gianni Versace was shot and killed on the front steps of his South Beach mansion.

“It’s just like a tragedy, I think, for South Beach, for, I guess, the fashion world,” said a woman.

The suspect was quickly identified as Andrew Cunanan, a serial killer on the FBI’s Most Wanted list. The 27-year-old was connected to the murders of five people.

“So, as soon as I took the gun, I heard ‘boom’,” said Fernando Carreira.

Carreira, who was a caretaker for a Miami Beach houseboat, found Cunanan hiding out in it. He even heard the gunshot when the killer took his own life.

That discovery would launch Carreira from obscurity to fame overnight. However, life for the the 91-year-old is now a bit different.

“Here are the pictures of Versace. See, this is Versace,” Carreira said.

Carreira now lives in a small studio apartment in Miami Beach with his wife and dog. His walls are covered with newspaper clippings and memorabilia.

“This is Cunanan — and this is Cunanan — ’cause he has a lot of faces,” Carreira said pointing to the photos on the wall.

For years, Carreira struggled to get the reward money for solving the case. However, he says that even though he got it, life is still a struggle.

“It was supposed to be good, but it turned out bad,” Carreira said.

At 7News at 6 p.m., Carreira will explain exactly how his life turned out after he was in the spotlight.

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