UPDATE: Sister of Minnesota murder victim feared her brother would wind up dead

MOORHEAD - A couple of months ago, Melody Acosta warned her brother about what could happen if he kept hanging out with the wrong people. "I told him they were going to kill him one of these days. He said, 'No, they won't, Mel. They love me.' Wel...

From left, Patti Martin, Brandon Turi and Richard Wolfe, along with 3-year-old Trayva Pritchett, talk about Bradley Carrington, who was killed in his north Moorhead trailer. FORUM NEWS SERVICE

MOORHEAD – A couple of months ago, Melody Acosta warned her brother about what could happen if he kept hanging out with the wrong people.
“I told him they were going to kill him one of these days. He said, ‘No, they won’t, Mel. They love me.’ Well apparently, they didn’t love him enough,” she said.
Acosta’s brother, 55-year-old Bradley William Carrington, was killed over the weekend, and the two suspects in the homicide were acquaintances of his, police said Monday.

One suspect, a 16-year-old boy, is in police custody, and the other suspect, Anthony Lee Rodriguez, 20, of Moorhead, is still at large, said Lt. Tory Jacobson of the Moorhead Police Department.

Police found Rodriguez’s car, a silver Dodge Stratus, late Monday evening, but still hadn’t located him.
Jacobson said Carrington’s body was discovered Sunday in a mobile home at 1224 15th Ave. N., Lot 42. Carrington had been staying in the home, which is in a mobile home park called Mobile Manor, and renovating it, the lieutenant said.
Anthony Rodriguez is known to drive a silver colored late ‘90s four-door Dodge Stratus with noticeable wide rear tires.
Anthony Rodriguez is known to drive a silver colored late ‘90s four-door Dodge Stratus with noticeable wide rear tires.
Police would not provide details of how Carrington was killed, other than to say they were awaiting final autopsy results from the Ramsey County Medical Examiner’s Office in St. Paul.
Jacobson said investigators believe Rodriguez is still in the Fargo-Moorhead area, though he’s known to travel frequently to Belcourt, N.D.
It’s unknown if Rodriguez is armed. Anyone who knows his whereabouts is asked not to approach him and to contact police immediately, Jacobson said.
Rodriguez’s criminal past includes felony convictions for possession of a controlled substance in 2014 and simple assault in January, according to Cass County District Court records.
Moorhead police on Monday didn’t release the identity of the 16-year-old arrested on suspicion of killing Carrington.
Though he’s a juvenile, his name would typically be made public, but Jacobson said there are circumstances under which authorities can temporarily withhold the identity. Those include when the arrested is an unpaid informant, an undercover law enforcement officer, when it will compromise an investigation and if the person is alleged to be the victim of criminal sexual conduct.

Family’s suspicion
Carrington’s family suspects that a boy Carrington watched over in years past may be the 16-year-old who’s a suspect in his death, said Carrington’s cousin, Tim Carrington of Belcourt.
“I wouldn’t say the kid’s guilty of anything, not unless I had more information,” he said. “We’ve got no real details.”
Acosta, 62, of Belcourt said her brother was not related to the boy and stepped in to care for him for about four years when the boy’s parents could not. Acosta said her brother long ago had wanted to be in a relationship with the boy’s mother, but that didn’t happen.
Carrington, who had no biological children, did not adopt the boy but took care of him until about a year ago, Acosta said. Though he wasn’t taking care of the boy at the time of his death, he was with him the night before he was found dead, she said.
Acosta said her brother spoiled the boy, often buying him video games and clothes. “Anything that kid wanted, my brother bought him,” she said.
Carrington’s mother deserted him and his siblings when they were young and their father took care of them, Acosta said.
“For the first eight years of my brother’s life, I was his mother,” his sister said. Later on, “my mother got custody of all of us, and she finished raising him.”
Carrington grew up in Pekin, Ill., before moving to Belcourt when he was about 10 years old, Acosta said.
Recently, Carrington had been receiving disability payments and doing side jobs, said Tim Carrington, his cousin. “He used to go work concrete, but he hasn’t been able to do that in many, many years. His back just couldn’t take it,” his cousin said.
Acosta said her brother was usually happy and laughing, but had a mean streak when he drank.
“He’s no angel,” she said. “He drank a lot, but a lot of people loved him, even though he was ornery.”
Carrington has a criminal history in North Dakota that includes misdemeanor convictions in Rolette County in 2012 for menacing and in 2013 for preventing arrest.
To pay for Carrington’s funeral, Acosta said, she sold his pickup truck, and now she’s trying to raise money to bring his body to Belcourt.
“He’s going to be buried here,” she said. “I don’t care if I have to go after the body myself.”

‘The wrong people’
On Monday, life carried on as usual in Mobile Manor, where kids ran and biked around outside.
Two neighbors of Carrington, Pattie Martin and Richard Wolfe, described him as a friendly, social person who sometimes surrounded himself with a rough crowd.
“A lot of the times when he had company, I didn’t even want to know who his company was,” said Martin, 61.
“They weren’t always the best,” agreed Wolfe, 46.
“Tried to help the wrong people,” Martin said.
Martin and Wolfe, who hung out with Carrington on Saturday night, said they felt safe despite the killing. The neighbors, Wolfe said, “keep an eye out for me, I keep an eye out for them.”
Neighbor Phil Hamre said the owner of the mobile home where Carrington’s body was found had been letting Carrington stay there while he did renovation work.
Police said they encountered “a substantial amount of blood” at the scene. Hamre said Carrington’s dog was covered in blood when authorities removed it from the home.
Hamre said he’s frustrated with what he described as constant drug and domestic violence issues at the mobile home park, which regularly draw the attention of police.
So far, the investigation into Carrington’s death has shown it’s not related to drug or gang activity, Jacobson said.



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