The Edmonton Police Service (EPS) is seeking the public’s assistance in locating a man wanted in connection with the March 8 death of Demetrios Karahalios, who was a well-regarded member of Edmonton’s LGBT community.
EPS has issued a Canada-wide warrant for the arrest of 47-year-old Richard Joseph Lacarte for second-degree murder. Police say the murder is not being investigated as a hate crime.
“We believe he may be hiding out in the queer community somewhere in Canada and people may not know who he is,” says Kris Wells, a member of the EPS sexual minorities liaison committee. “He is known to frequent LGBT bars and nightclubs and play pool and karaoke, and we know that the LGBT community venues are open, friendly and non-judgmental places. So we are asking people who work in LGBT establishments, as well as patrons, be vigilant and if they recognize this individual to call Crime Stoppers or contact local police authorities.”
Lacarte, who was known to Karahalios, is a Caucasian male, five-f00t-nine and 150 pounds with blue eyes, grey hair and some missing teeth. He has tattoos of Harley Davidson wings on his left bicep, a skull and crossbones, and a tiger.
EPS describe him as someone who has led a “drifter” lifestyle and who also worked as a roofer from time to time.
An EPS spokesperson says Lacarte is originally from Ontario but has spent time in Vancouver, Alberta and Saskatchewan.
“The concern is that he may have latched on to somebody else and is sleeping on their couch and using them, and they may be totally unaware that he is wanted for Demetrios’s murder,” says Detective John Tedeschini, of the EPS homicide section.
“Clearly the reaction to [Karahalios’s] murder was one of shock and disbelief,” Tedeschini adds, “and it was clear, too, from the work that we’ve done that he was well loved in the community and obviously by his family. We obviously want to work for his memory and for his sister and family.”
In a written statement, Karahalios’s sister Tonia says that Lacarte’s arrest would bring closure to her brother’s death. “Our brother Demetrios was a caring, thoughtful and generous human being, who was taken from us far too soon,” she says. “This will never be over for us. He was an important and much loved member of our family and we miss him terribly.”
Police urge anyone with information on Lacarte’s whereabouts to call the EPS at 780-423-4567. Anonymous tips can be submitted to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or online here. EPS say that Lacarte should not be approached.