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Athens seeks legal status of suspect in knife death

By Holly Hollman 340-2445

ATHENS — Athens police are turning to Homeland Security to get more information about a murder suspect who is on the run.

Lt. Floyd Johnson said investigators don't know whether the suspect is here legally from Mexico. He moved to the Athens area about four months ago.

Johnson identified the suspect as Omar Sanchez, who is between 25 and 27 years old.

"We've asked Homeland Security to see if they have any information on him," Johnson said.

Police said Sanchez allegedly stabbed to death his roommate, Marcos Morens Cortez, also known as Marcos Contreras, on Saturday at the mobile home they shared at 19274 Windsox Place.

"It could have been a drug deal gone bad," Johnson said.

Cortez was found lying face down on his bed with multiple stab wounds to his chest and back.

Cortez, who was in his mid-20s, was from Mexico and had been living in Athens for about a year, police said.

Johnson said Sanchez has some family and acquaintances in Athens. He worked for a Hispanic contractor doing drywall jobs, Johnson said.

"We know he has talked to a few people in the area since the murder," he said.

Johnson said Sanchez is between 5 feet, 4 inches and 5 feet, 7 inches tall and weighs between 140 and 160 pounds. He has dark hair that he keeps combed back, and has a pencil- thin dark mustache.

When Sanchez left the mobile home, he was wearing a tan button-up shirt, blue jeans and white Nike tennis shoes.

Anyone with information on Sanchez's whereabouts can call police at 233-8700.

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