It was an employee at the Reno bus station who thought Edward Rivas looked like the suspect on a flyer about the murder of 12-year old Stevie Jamon.
Stevie’s older sister Nena Moreno, 26, confirmed her brother’s identity to the Reno Gazette Journal on Monday.
Stevie, who attended Swope Middle School, was found dead by police around 5:30 p.m. Friday at his home at 1235 Berrum Lane in Reno.
The employee at the bus station called 911 as Rivas boarded the bus, and he was arrested Sunday.
Rivas, 42, was booked into Washoe County Jail and has been charged with open murder and arson. He is scheduled to be in court on Sept. 28, according to booking logs.
Police have not released the cause of death but said they believe Rivas was possibly a roommate of Stevie’s mother and only lived at the home for a short time.
The Washoe County School District said extra counseling and grief support were available for students at the middle school on Monday.
“This has really been a case where the community came forward and helped us,” said Reno Police Department Detective Laura Conklin.
A black BMX Mongoose bicycle Rivas was seen riding was also found on Monday after police asked for help in finding it and received calls from the public.
Conklin said everyone wants to help when they hear about this case, which she called heartbreaking and tough.
According to a neighbor, Monique Preciado, people were scared after hearing the news of the boy’s death.
She said police remained in the neighborhood over the weekend.
“It was almost like they wanted us to know they were watching because he really could have been anywhere,” Preciado said.
Siobhan McAndrew tells stories about the people of Northern Nevada and covers education in Washoe County. Read her journalism right here. Consider supporting her work by subscribing to the Reno Gazette Journal.