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CBS4 Exclusive: Inside look at how Miami Police solved recent murder

CBS4 Exclusive: Inside look at how Miami Police solved recent murder
CBS4 Exclusive: Inside look at how Miami Police solved recent murder 03:17

MIAMI - Miami Police are giving CBS4 an exclusive inside look at how they solved a recent homicide as they say they lately are solving more murders than ever.

Assistant Miami Police Chief Armando Aguilar told CBS4's Peter D'Oench that the clearance rate for solving homicides so far this year is at 77 percent compared with 47 percent in 2021.

Aguilar showed CBS4 how he says some first-rate detective work, DNA evidence and some luck led to the capture of repeat offender, 56-year-old Charlie Wooden, who is now charged with 2nd-degree murder in the death of another homeless man, 30-year-old Juan Hernandez.

Aguilar says it was June 5th when police were dispatched to S.W. 1st Ave. and 1st St. where Hernandez had been stabbed. He was rushed to the Ryder Trauma Center but did not survive. Aguilar says police processed the scene and learned their suspect had a nickname, "UNC," which was short for uncle.

"We reached out to our homeless empowerment and assistance team who worked in the area trying to identify the suspect but we kept coming up short. We were able to pick up some surveillance tape by canvassing the area," said Aguilar.

The tape shows the two men in an argument and then Hernandez is stabbed off camera. He says surveillance tape also shows the suspect picking up two duffel bags and then riding away on his bicycle.

"We see the suspect riding away on his bicycle not wearing his red hat and that red hat was left on the crime scene and that was processed for DNA being a match for our suspect Charlie Wooden."

Aguilar says a witness also identified Wooden.

He says, "This case as is the case for many homicide cases was a combination of great police work and attention to detail and a bit of luck, Homicide detectives will often tell you they would rather be lucky than good. Murder cases are very labor intensive. Homicide detectives are often called to the scene and do not stop working until all of the leads come in."

"Our detectives are doing a top-notch job in following through with cases. They are also paying more attention to cold cases," said Aguilar. "We are also focusing heavily on known repeat offenders and proactively adding those suspects who are known out there in the community in gun-related cases, gang-related crimes, drugs offenses and firearms offenses. The number of illegal firearms confiscated gas doubled since 2020."

He said "The Miami Police department views every victim in every murder case as the most important thing as we are working on and no victim is forgotten. Every case is treated as the highest priority at the time. It doesn't matter where the victim is in their life. Every victim is treated as the highest priority at the time. Everyone who has a hand in the cases knows it is all in and no stone will be left unturned in finding the person involved with a murder."

Aguilar said there have been 26 murders so far this year in Miami, compared with 30 homicides at the same time last year and that is a drop of 13 percent in murders.

Aguilar hs had a lot of experience with murder cases.

He had been a homicide detective with Miami Police for 5 1/2 years.

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