Las Vegas Strip Shooting Update: Miami woman no longer "person of interest" in triple homicide, police released wrong photos, report says
(CBS) MIAMI - A 22-year-old South Florida woman with a history of arrests for prostitution is no longer considered a "person of interest" in a Feb. 21 triple homicide on the Las Vegas Strip, CBS Miami reports.
"Yenesis Alfonzo, also known as Tineesha Howard... is no longer a person of interest surrounding the homicide investigation involving wanted murder suspect, Ammar Harris," according to a statement issued late Wednesday by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.
Las Vegas police didn't elaborate as to why she was no longer considered a person of interest.
On Feb. 21, Harris, who was driving a black Range Rover SUV with several passengers, allegedly shot and killed aspiring rapper Wayne Cherry Jr. after the two got into an argument.
Mortally wounded, Cherry accelerated and slammed into a taxi cab that burst into flames, killing cab driver Michael Boldon and his passenger, Sandra Sutton-Wasmund of Maple Valley, Washington, the station reports.
On Tuesday, police issued a statement that they were looking for Alfonzo - aka Howard - who was identified as being in Harris' SUV. Along with the statement they distributed several pictures of her with Harris. One problem though - the woman in the picture was not Alfonzo, CBS Miami reports.
The woman in the photo was actually Tasha Malek who is not connected to the shooting. In an exclusive interview, Malek told CBS Miami she knew Harris when he lived in her downtown Miami building, but that they were friends and that's it.
"Did he seem like the kind of guy who would go crazy on the Las Vegas Strip?," CBS Miami reporter Brian Andrews asked Malek.
"Not at all. Not at all," she replied.
According to the station, Harris was arrested in Miami Beach last December for reckless driving. Police say he was also cited for driving without a valid license.
Malek had a part in a reality TV show on cable. Now, she's in the medical equipment business. She said she can't believe her photo was thrust into the case, with the Las Vegas Police Department calling her Tineesha Howard, a prostitute and 'person of interest,' CBS Miami reports.
"It was a combination of bad luck, sloppy police work, recklessness, and them releasing something before they even thought about it," said Malek's attorney, Michael Grieco.
Malek's photos were no longer on the Las Vegas Police Department website as of Wednesday night.
A $35,000 reward has been posted for information leading to the arrest of Harris who police said should be considered armed and dangerous.
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