A Sister's Sleuthing Unravels a Teenage Love Triangle Murder Mystery

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Text messages later released by police show that by May 2013, Stacy, Cabrera, and Savage were soon embroiled in an emotional tug of war. Stacy had been telling friends that she was with Cabrera; by June, she said the two were trying to get a place together. He takes care... me n treats me great, she wrote in one text to a friend.

But the texts also make it clear Stacy and Savage were still linked. Later in May, Cabrera fired off an angry message after hearing his girlfriend was hanging around Michael. jusz kuz he wasz round da area dnt mean I was wit a nigga or even talkin to him, she pleaded. Mhm Stacyy, Cabrera punched back. Girls like u are the reason im a hoe and heartless. All yah da same.

Despite her denials to Cabrera, police records show Stacy was indeed texting Michael throughout May, soon telling him to use Facebook instead. Plz don't text back, she wrote in one message. I love you.

Then in early June, their relationship turned ugly. Stacy demanded to know why Savage had been seen around the house of one of her friends. For tattoos, he answered. Naw nigga... dahts my pplsz dont go round my ppls, she responded, before launching into a threat to call police to accuse Michael of rape, as well as telling him there was a "green light on his head."

I'll fuk yur life up dawg, she wrote.

Life fuked up already, Michael messaged back.

Nine days later, he was dead.

Adelia's husband said they had to talk. It was a Thursday morning, June 13, 2013, and the busy mom was getting her kids ready for school. She could read bad news in his face and figured it had to do with her 107-year-old great-grandmother. She dug in for the hit. "They found your brother," he said unexpectedly.

Even though Michael had been out of contact for three months, the news went off like a grenade, taking out pieces of Adelia. "Everything changed," she says today, tears rimming her eyes.

Slammed with grief, she also knew the odds. Her husband had worked homicide for five years. Without a witness, murder cases were hard to put together. So Adelia started her own amateur investigation, spending hours sifting through the only pipeline of information she had: Facebook. In the end, her own desktop detective work helped tease out the truth.

"I became completely obsessed," she says. "I was on the computer every day. I knew every move they made."

Adelia and her husband, a Jersey City Police officer, say they found a series of incriminating Facebook posts they later sent to police in Hollywood. Both Stacy's and Cabrera's Facebook accounts have since been deleted, so it's impossible to independently verify the specific posts, but police records show that detectives were also monitoring the teens' Facebook history and that they used Stacy's online activity to build a case against the teens. (Stacy's and Cabrera's attorneys declined to comment for this article.)

Adelia got her first look at Michael's teenaged girlfriend on Facebook, where she saw that the young girl mugging cute for bathroom selfies matched the description police had circulated of a woman seen fleeing the murder scene. Stacy's page was mum about the murder, Adelia says, even though there were friends posting to ask about Michael.

Then, two weeks or so after the shooting, she saw that Stacy's relationship status had switched from "Single" to "In a Relationship with Alexis Cabrera."

Clicking over on the teen's page, Adelia says she saw that Cabrera had deactivated his account on June 10, the day of the murder. But before going off­line, he'd posted "bang" six times — the same number of gunshots Michael was hit with. On June 12, Cabrera had reactivated the account. "I'm back," he'd posted, adding a smiley face, she says. In new pictures, Cabrera sported a new teardrop tattoo, which is often ink signage for a successful killing on the street. "I knew," she says. "I just knew."

The sister began relentlessly calling down to Florida, asking detectives if they'd been following along on Facebook. "Every week, they would hear my voice because I wouldn't let them forget about him," she says.

Hollywood detectives, who declined to be interviewed, were already looking at Stacy as a suspect. At the crime scene, police found medication in Michael's backpack from a recent hospital stay. An address on the label led to a single-story house on North 22nd Avenue, where Margo Goff told police that Michael was her daughter's boyfriend but that Stacy wasn't home.

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Kyle Swenson
Contact: Kyle Swenson