flag image
Burlington Chocolate Fest

First call wasn't to 911

August 12, 2014 | 10:57 AM
ELKHORN — In the frantic moments leading up to Ivan Guerrero’s death, his wife didn’t dial 911 but instead called an off-duty Walworth County Sheriff’s deputy.

According to reports released last week by the Walworth County Sheriff’s Department, at about 3 a.m., Brenda Garcia called Deputy Alex Torres.

Torres, who is fluent in Spanish, knows Garcia through her employment at a hair salon in Delavan. On the phone, Garcia told Torres that her husband had been stabbed by a man named Rafael.

Torres asked Garcia if she had called 911, and when he learned she didn’t, he dialed 911 from his wife’s phone.

The Walworth County District Attorney has charged Rafael Olivarez, 39, with first-degree intentional homicide. Prosecutors alleged that in the early morning hours of May 4 Olivarez stabbed and killed Guerrero at Guerrero’s Delavan apartment.

When Torres reached a 911 dispatcher, he reported a stabbing somewhere in the city of Delavan. He remained online with both Garcia and the dispatcher as police tried to locate the apartment on Lawson School Road.

Torres could hear struggling and screaming in the background while on the phone. Garcia later told police that she called Torres instead of 911 because she feared dispatchers wouldn’t speak Spanish and wouldn’t be able to help her.

Leading up to Guerrero’s death

Shortly before Guerrero’s death, Olivarez reportedly moved to Delavan from Texas. Garcia told police that Olivarez, Guerrero’s cousin by marriage, had recently obtained a job in Darien.

The week before the stabbing, Garcia said Olivarez spent time together at Olivarez’s house, cooking food and drinking Coronas.

During the week, Guerrero also reportedly helped Olivarez move furniture.

On May 3, Guerrero and Garcia had a small gathering at their home and watched the fight between Floyd Mayweather and Marcos Maidana.

Most of the party guests left, but Olivarez and his aunt, Rebecca Perez. Perez told police that she left the apartment at about 1:30 a.m. on May 4.

When Perez left, she said everyone was getting along.

Garcia told police that everyone was getting along well up until Perez left.

After Perez left, Garcia told police that Olivarez began talking about a cousin of his who had died in Milwaukee. According to police reports, the death of Jesse Perez was ruled a suicide, but Olivarez believed that Guerrero was responsible for the death.

Garcia told police that Olivarez kept saying “You know what happened to him,” and Ivan responded to let it go.

Olivarez eventually yelled “You know what happened and you killed him,” according to police reports.

At some point, Guerrero told Olivarez that “You don’t know what happened. Just because I found him you think I killed him, but you don’t know what happened.”

Olivarez and Garcia fought and Brenda Garcia attempted to break it up. Garcia then saw Olivarez getting a knife from the kitchen, and her husband was stumbling down the apartment stairs.

Garcia said she heard her husband tell Olivarez, “You’re fighting like a (expletive),” and told him to put down the knife.

At the bottom of the staircase, Guerrero looked at his wife and said “My love, I think I’m dying.”

During a police interview the morning of Guerrero’s death, Garcia told Walworth County Sheriff’s Detective Michael Lambert that she believes the only reason Olivarez had been nice to her husband was so he could kill him.

Olivarez is next due in court on May 13 for a motion hearing.

Past stories on Olivarez:

Defense moves to dismiss homicide case, June 12, 2014

Reddy won't rule on motion to dismiss, July 26, 2014

Homicide suspect was reportedly seeking revenge, July 26, 2014

Delavan man charged with first-degree intentional homicide, May 15, 2014

Homicide suspect bound over for trial, May 14, 2014

Murder suspect in police custody, May 8, 2014


Tags: Crime

Comments ()
Walworth County
Regional News