DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) –Durham police continue to search for the Florida man they said shot and killed his girlfriend while visiting family in south Durham over Christmas.
Authorities said 28-year-old Jorge Gomez, Tampa, shot and killed 28-year-old Jessica Cortez Luna at a home on Capstone Drive in Durham after midnight on Saturday.
The couple and their four kids were visiting family in Durham for Christmas, family members said.
Maria Cortez Luna, the victim’s sister, said that the two were having an argument when her sister was shot.
“We just want him to turn himself in, because she leaves behind four kids,” Maria Cortez Luna told CBS 17 on Saturday. “We kind of thought this was going to happen one day, but she kept on going back to him all the time and we couldn’t do anything. I wish we could’ve done more.”
Police said after the murder Gomez fled in a black Chevrolet Silverado truck with a North Carolina license plate of HEW-3881.
As of Monday afternoon, Durham police wouldn’t say where they think Gomez may be. Police said Monday night that Gomez uses an alias of Martin Benitez, 29, of Durham.
But Luna’s sister said she knows Gomez used to live in Greensboro, currently lives in Tampa, and he is originally from Mexico.
She said he could have fled to any of those places.
CBS 17 asked Durham police why the suspect information — about an “armed and dangerous” man — in the murder case was not released to the media until nearly 18 hours after the deadly shooting.
In an email on Monday afternoon, police said a “be on the lookout” alert was sent out as soon as they had sufficient information to do so.
Durham police Monday night did ask the media to share info about Gomez with outlets in Florida, South Carolina, Georgia and Texas.
Durham police would not go into specifics about what steps authorities are taking to track Gomez.
However, former Durham County Sheriff Mike Andrews said police have law enforcement all over the country on alert looking for Gomez.
“Whether he goes to the north border or the south border, I’m sure those authorities will be checking for that vehicle,” Andrews said.
Andrews said suspects on the run like Gomez will eventually run out of resources and get caught.
“Sometimes it may happen in a day or two, sometimes it may be a week, but in the eventual end, that individual will be caught,” Andrews said.
But he said police need the public’s help.
“It’s very important for people to assist law-enforcement and help them remove these individuals off the street,” Andrews said.
A GoFundMe page has been set up for the Luna family that has raised more than $6,800. To donate go to the following link.