MIAMI (WSVN) - Police have made an arrest in the decade-and-a-half-old cold case of a Miami Hurricanes football player.
Miami-Dade Police have confirmed that 35-year-old Rashaun Jones has been taken into custody for the 2006 murder of Bryan Pata, a star defensive lineman for the Hurricanes.
“The community never stopped contacting us,” Miami-Dade Police homicide detective Juan Segovia said. “As a result of 15 years of investigation, countless hours, numerous interviews and incredible work done by countless detectives with the collaboration and assistance from the State Attorney’s Office, we were able to obtain an arrest warrant charging Rashaun Jones with first-degree murder.”
Pata was shot in the head and killed outside his Kendall apartment complex on Nov. 6, 2006, shortly after football practice.
“My son is a very good son,” Jeanette Pata, his mother, said shortly after his death. “He never have a problem with nobody. Why is he gone? He’s gone! Please help me! Please, somebody knows!”
“He was an inspiration, our motivation. He defeated all odds,” a teammate said.
According to the Miami Herald, Jones was a former UM defensive back and had been a suspect in the case. A photo taken by a Miami Herald photographer captured Jones kneeling with his teammates around a banner with Pata’s photo at the Orange Bowl.
Miami-Dade Police were sued by ESPN to reveal previously redacted information. The network then ran a story in 2020 that tied Jones to the murder.
Police said Jones, who is from Lake City, Florida, was arrested with the help of the U.S. Marshals in Marion County. He has since been booked into the Marion County Jail.
“As a result of that warrant being signed, the U.S. Marshal Service were able to locate Rashaun Jones and take him into custody,” Segovia said.
Meanwhile, the tributes to the fallen Hurricane have been coming in. His brother and former teammate both posted Pata’s photos in their social media accounts to honor him.
“It’s been a very emotional 15 years,” UM head football coach Manny Diaz said. “They are thankful for the people responsible for securing the arrest.”
Edwin Pata, his brother, is an assistant director recruiting for the Hurricanes’ football program.
Jones is expected to be brought back to South Florida for trial.
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