Posted on: December 14, 2022, 05:11h.
Last updated on: December 14, 2022, 06:15h.
A man suspected of stabbing Las Vegas resident Marcos Rocha to death in the early hours of December 3 was traced via his player rewards card, Metro Police have said.
Joshua Billings, 27, was arrested last Thursday and booked into the Clark County Detention Center on a charge of open murder.
Metro Police were called to an alley of 1300 Sombrero Drive December 3, near the intersection of South Maryland Parkway and East Desert Inn Road. There they found Rocha slumped near a dumpster with an apparent stab wound. The victim was unresponsive. Some shopping bags with groceries spilled were found around his body. His cell phone and wallet were missing.
Police also noticed bloody footprints and droplets of blood leading away from the scene, according to Billings’ arrest report.
Trail of Blood
Investigators collated surveillance footage from three different locations close by and quickly identified a person of interest.
This individual was seen crossing paths with Rocha near the Desert Inn and Maryland Parkway intersection shortly after midnight. The figure is next seen following Rocha as he walks through a Sunrise Hospital parking lot toward the area where the murder took place.
Crucially, investigators also found security footage from Bert’s Gaming, a nearby dive bar with video poker and keno. This appeared to show the same individual gambling at the bar at around 11.30 p.m.
The figure was identified by his player card information as Joshua Billings.
When investigators eventually tracked Billings down at an address that did not match the one on his records, they found droplets of blood leading to the front door which matched those found at the murder scene.
Billings was wearing a hat identical to the individual seen in the surveillance video. They found blood on the brim of the hat and a cut on his right index finger.
According to his arrest report, Billings agreed to be taken to Metro Police headquarters to be interviewed. He admitted he was in the area at the time and confirmed he was the person in the images. But he denied stabbing anyone. He told investigators he was drunk that night.
The victim’s mother, Martha Santos, told 8NewsNow last week that her son was “just a good kid with a good heart,” who “helped everybody.”
“He was always trying to get everybody to start dancing,” she said, adding that she was struggling to understand why anyone would want to hurt him.
Billings is scheduled to appear in court for a bail hearing December 20.