PRP murder suspect arrested in Tennessee - WDRB 41 Louisville News

PRP murder suspect arrested in Tennessee

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Steven Zapata, arrested Friday for murder of his wife in PRP.  Illinois Dept. of Corrections photo. Steven Zapata, arrested Friday for murder of his wife in PRP. Illinois Dept. of Corrections photo.
A metro police crime scene technician works Friday near Leisure Lane and Brook Bend Way in Okolona, location where a man's body was found Thursday evening. A metro police crime scene technician works Friday near Leisure Lane and Brook Bend Way in Okolona, location where a man's body was found Thursday evening.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Tennessee police arrest a Louisville man wanted in connection with the murder of his wife in a Pleasure Ridge Park apartment.

Police in Springfield, Tenn., arrested 53-year-old Steven Zapata Friday evening, a bit more than 24 hours after his wife, 62-year-old Tondelia Zapata, was found dead, a Louisville metro police spokesperson said.

Metro police had issued an arrest warrant for murder for Zapata and asked the public to look out for his 2010, black Hyundai Sonata with Kentucky plates.

Springfield police had not returned a phone call about the specifics of Zapata's arrest or when he could return to Louisville to answer the murder charge.

"Once we got in and started looking at it, it was an obvious homicide," said Lt. Todd Kessinger, LMPD homicide commander.

Kessinger referred to circumstances that led police to Tondelia Zapata's apartment on Sedge Drive in PRP Thursday afternoon.  She was pronounced dead at 3:50 p.m. Thursday, deputy coroner Rita Taylor said.

The coroner's office released her identity Friday afternoon.  Metro police asked Taylor not to disclose the cause of death. 

Kessinger told reporters before Steven Zapata's arrest that officers had "credible information" to call him a suspect and justify the arrest warrant.

Steven Zapata is on parole for two, DUI-related offenses from the state of Illinois, according to state corrections department records.  They also showed prior felony convictions and completed sentences for offenses including rape, going back to 1981.

In a second homicide case from Thursday, a teenager on a walk found of the body of 32-year-old Andre Mayes, who had been shot to death. 

His body was partially obscured in a wooded area off Brook Bend Way in Okolona, witnesses said. 

"They took a walk to the park and coming back from the park they seen the body in the woods," said Mark Goins, whose daughter found the body.

"They seen arms and legs sticking out. I guess it was covered with something, I'm not sure," Goins said.

Metro Police detectives and crime scene technicians returned to the scene Friday morning.  They were looking for more evidence in the case. Meanwhile, Goins and other neighbors are pretty confident the victim was shot to death right there.

"It didn't all start to make sense until later," said Goins.  That's when Goins remembered something he heard the day before. "I remembered hearing the shots while I was cooking Wednesday morning."

Police confirmed Mays was shot to death.

Anyone with information about either murder should call the LMPD crime tipline at 574-LMPD (574-5673). Callers can remain anonymous.

Copyright 2013 WDRB News. All rights reserved.

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