HASTINGS (WCCO) – A Florida homicide suspect has been arrested in Minnesota. It happened just four hours before 46-year-old Abraham Mpaka was scheduled to be on a segment of the show “America’s Most Wanted.”
Mpaka allegedly killed his girlfriend, Coty Paul, in North Miami Beach Dec. 26, 2008. The FBI says he allegedly stabbed Paul, the mother of two children, in her heart as she was watching TV in a neighbor’s apartment.
A woman who saw a promo for the show contacted their hotline saying Mpaka looked like a man who was going by the name Larry Holmes in the Twin Cities.
Minnesota and FBI investigators followed up on the lead which led them to a van in Hastings.
Hasting Police and members of the FBI’s Fugitive Track Force tracked down the van in the Hasting’s library parking. When they went inside the library, they found Mpaka at a computer station and arrested him without incident.
Todd Haarstick is a library regular who saw the arrest go down Saturday afternoon.
“I saw a Hastings police officer, I think he was sort of frisking a taller, black man and escorted him out of the building,” said Haarstick.
“What did you think?” asked crime reporter Caroline Lowe.
“Wasn’t much of a scene,” said Haarstick.
Haarstick said he was very surprised to pick up the newspaper Sunday morning and learn the man being arrested was wanted for a brutal murder in Florida.
Alan Gaylor lives in a townhouse across the street from the library. On Saturday afternoon, he saw officers carrying rifles and then shaking hands after the arrest was done.
“Wouldn’t think it would happen this close to you. I knew something was going down that was pretty serious when they had rifles but I never knew something from ‘America’s Most Wanted’ would happen here in Hasting,” said Gaylor.
Gaylor said his young son and his friends had just visited the library a short while before Mpaka was arrested.
Hastings Police Chief Paul Schnell said Mpaka was living just two blocks from the police department. Investigators are continuing to look into his activities since he moved to Minnesota and estimate he has had at least five girlfriends here.
Mpaka is awaiting extradition at the Dakota County Jail which is just across the street from the library where he was caught.