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Boy held without bond in death of homeless man

August 5, 2014
By TIFFANY REPECKI ( , Cape Coral Daily Breeze

A Cape Coral teen remained in jail Tuesday, accused of stabbing to death a local homeless man.

Yoel Munoz, 13, of 502 N.E. Van Loon Lane, was being held without bond at the Lee County Jail, where he was booked Sunday. According to the booking records, Munoz faces one count of homicide murder dangerous depraved without premeditation in the recent death of Thomas J. Bergstrom, 51.

He is additionally facing one count of burglary dwelling structure or conveyance unarmed.

Article Photos

Yoel Munoz

At about 11:48 a.m. Saturday, the Cape police responded to a homeless camp near the intersection of Northeast Fourth Street and Northeast First Avenue. According to a police report, the caller advised that a neighbor and fellow homeless person - later identified as Bergstrom - was deceased in his camp.

Officers found Bergstrom covered in blood, with a large open injury to his right forearm. Evidence on scene indicated that he was attacked while seated in a recliner inside of his manmade structure or home.

Bergstrom then fell face forward on the ground, ending up partially inside and outside of the doorway.

The caller advised that prior to contacting police, he had arrived and found Bergstrom's body.

According to the report, Bergstrom sustained several stab or incised wounds to his upper torso, right hand and arm. A bread and bagel knife, which tested positive for blood, was retrieved from the bank of a nearby pond. A white Halloween or hockey mask was found on a path leading away from the camp.

Police noted that the mask had writings and drawings on it, as well as blood smeared all over it.

Earlier Saturday morning, the police had responded to Cape Coral Hospital, where Munoz was being treated for a stab wound to his thigh. Uncooperative, he gave different stories of what had happened.

Officers responded to the teen's home, where an investigation revealed that Munoz had entered his residence via a side window and blood smears were left on the walls and a nearby bed. Inside, a knife block was found that matched the brand of knife found at the scene; some of the knives were gone.

The report states that writings found in Munoz's room were similar in style to those found on the discarded mask. A bloody shirt was located in the teen's bathroom, as well as the pair of shoes Munoz was reportedly wearing the night of the incident. They were located in the garage in plastic bags.

Munoz's mother reportedly confirmed that she had purchased a similar mask for her son.

Based upon the investigation, police arrested and charged Munoz on Sunday for allegedly entering Bergstrom's residence while armed with a knife and stabbing the victim repeatedly until he died.

The teen was transported to the Department of Juvenile Justice for detainment.

"He is on a 21-day hold in juvenile detention - set at his first appearance," Samantha Syoen, the spokeswoman for the State Attorney's Office, said Tuesday. "I do not have a next court date."

According to booking records, Munoz tentatively has a court date scheduled for Aug. 21.

He nor his family could be reached for comment about the allegations Tuesday.

It was unknown at the time if Munoz had an attorney representing him yet.



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