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Arrest made in 2019 double homicide in Lehigh Acres

An arrest has been made in a double homicide that left a couple dead in Lehigh Acres last year.

The Lee County Sheriff’s Office held a brief press conference at its headquarters Wednesday morning to announce the arrest of Roberto Perez Rivera.

Perez Rivera, 33, of Baltimore, Maryland, is the suspect in the Oct. 27, 2019, deaths of Stephanie Cuevas Mammen, a mother of six, and her boyfriend, Marcos Earhart. They were attacked and beaten in their home on Juddale Street in Lehigh Acres.

“I can’t believe anyone would do something like that. I just can’t,” said Debbie Phelps, a close friend and neighbor of Mammen’s.

“She was just really well-loved and we miss them. We miss them a lot.”

Phelps said the couple had a child and Mammen’s family told her that child was in the house at the time of the killings.

“We have a toddler that’s left in a residence, that we believe had been left in the residence, you know, without anyone to care for it for a number of hours, so it’s a very sad case,” said Sheriff Carmine Marceno.

He wouldn’t give any specifics about the homicides, how long the child was alone in the home or how deputies discovered the scene.

The sheriff did say his team is positive they have the right guy based on a past relationship between Perez Rivera and Mammen.

“We have reason to believe he came down here to intentionally commit this act,” Marceno said.

Phelps said now that the suspected killer is in custody, she’ll start praying for the families to get justice.

“I can’t wait to sit in the courtroom if it ever gets that far. I can’t,” she said.

Lee County Sheriff’s Office detectives went to Baltimore to execute a search warrant at Perez Rivera’s residence. He was tracked by U.S. Marshals to Las Vegas where he was attempting to board a plane and arrested. He faces two counts of second-degree murder, as well as grand theft and armed burglary charges.

Earhart’s family sent WINK News a statement on Wednesday saying they’re thankful for answered prayers, but the journey isn’t over.

As for Mammen’s six children, we don’t know who is now caring for them.

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