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Caretaker surprised by role in catching accused serial killer

July 25, 1997

MIAMI (AP) _ Caretaker Fernando Carreira expected to find a common transient _ not the most wanted man in the country _ after noticing the lights on during a routine check of a Miami Beach house.

``I thought it was some bum; I didn’t know who it was,″ Carreira said in an interview Thursday with WSVN-TV.

The 71-year-old caretaker alerted police after hearing a gunshot that eventually led authorities to find the body of accused serial killer Andrew Cunanan, who killed himself in an upstairs bedroom.

Carreira went to the home Wednesday afternoon and found the door of the home partially unlocked. He stepped inside with his wife and noticed the lights on, slippers in front of the television and a makeshift bed.

``I knew somebody was in there,″ said Carreira, who said he didn’t see anyone but moments later heard a gunshot coming from the second-floor bedroom.

``I heard a boom and ran like hell. I thought the shot was for me,″ he said.

He and his wife, Lucy, hid in the bushes outside and called 911 on his cellular phone but the call didn’t go through. He called his son and told him to report the break-in to police.

Carreira said he usually stopped by the two-story home two to three times a week but saw nothing unusual when he had previously checked the house Saturday. A security system was disconnected for some time.

The caretaker said the owner of the houseboat, German businessman Thorsten Reineck, rarely came around and Carreira was the only one with the keys.

Carreira was questioned by police until early Thursday and still wasn’t aware Cunanan had killed himself in the home.

``The cops said to go home and `you’ll be impressed when you watch the news tomorrow morning,‴ said family friend Reynaldo Ramirez.

Update hourly