— The man police suspect in 18 stabbings over three states, including five homicides in Genesee County, was brought back to the Genesee County Jail Aug. 26 after he waived extradition.
Elias Abuelezam, 33, now sits in solitary confinement at the jail following arraignment on a charge of assault with intent to murder at the 68th District Court on the same day as his arrival from Atlanta’s Fulton County Jail.
He was taken into custody at 10 p.m. Aug. 11 by U.S. Customs and Border Protection at at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport where Abuelezam was reportedly headed to Tel Aviv, Israel. Law enforcement officials have said Ebuelazam offered no struggle upon being capture.
Michigan State Police officials received an anonymous tip on the morning of Aug. 11 providing information on a possible match to a sketch released by police on Aug. 5. A task force, including City of Flint and Michigan State Police investigators, tracked the lead to the airport in Atlanta. He was tracked upon leaving Detroit Metropolitan Airport to Louisville and then onto Atlanta before his capture.
Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton has said more charges are expected for Abuelezam, whom is suspected of 14 stabbings and five deaths in Genesee County, including possible incidents in Burton and Flint Township, as well as three stabbing incidents in Virginia and one in Toledo, Ohio.
Two stabbing incidents previously believed tied to the list — stretching from May 24 to Aug. 7 — were removed; one victim later told police he knew his assailant, while another stabbing involving a robbery did not fit the pattern, Leyton said. The suspect is believed to have moved to Flint in May, previously having lived and worked in Florida.
Police in Arlington, Va., had arrested Abuelazam on Aug. 5, following a traffic stop for failure to obey a traffic sign, on an outstanding warrant for a misdemeanor assault charge. A knife and hammer, which authorities said may have been used during the attacks, were found in his Blazer. Abuelazam and his vehicle were later released.
Leyton said at the time of the arrest, Abuelezam was arrested on just an outstanding warrants and there had been no definitive links made between Abuelezam and the stabbing incidents. Ebuelezam’s vehicle, taken from a home on Maryland Avenue in Flint, as well as two residences in the Flint area, both of which are owned by the suspect’s uncle, have been searched for evidence connecting him to the crimes.
A second pre-trial date for Abuelezam, following an Aug. 31 date, has been set for Sept. 21 at 68th District in Flint.