Arrest made in 2018 slayings of couple shot in their bed

Ammo, lockbox linked suspect to crime, affidavit states

Arrest made in 2018 slayings of couple shot in their bed
Arrest made in 2018 slayings of couple shot in their bed

SAN ANTONIO – A tip led San Antonio police to the man accused of slaying a couple who was found amid a bloody scene last year.

Jilson Duban Avelar-Rodriguez, 20, is accused of shooting Nicholas Milanovich, 23, and Julia Wright, 21, in their bed on Sept. 30, 2018, at their apartment in the 8600 block of Fairhaven St., according to an arrest affidavit.

Avelar-Rodriguez, who was being detained at a federal immigration detention facility in Pearsall, was charged with capital murder. He was booked into the Bexar County Jail Saturday, according to online jail records.

The morning after the shooting, Milanovich was found still alive in the bedroom, but he later died at a hospital. Wright’s body was found outside the apartment, where she attempted to get help from a neighbor.

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The investigation into Avelar-Rodriguez began when an unidentified source told police in November 2018 that they knew who killed the couple, the affidavit states.

The tip led police to Avelar-Rodriguez’s girlfriend, who allowed an officer to search their apartment.

During the search, police found 9 mm ammunition manufactured by Browning and Hornady — the same type of ammo recovered at the crime scene, the affidavit states. Winchester 9 mm ammunition was also found in the apartment.

A lockbox stolen from Milanovich and Wright’s apartment was spotted in Avelar-Rodriguez’s bedroom near the ammunition.

When an officer returned to conduct a second search months later, Avelar-Rodriguez’s girlfriend said she needed “a few minutes to put some things away in her bedroom,” the affidavit states.

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The officer then searched the apartment and found the same lockbox stuffed behind a washing machine in a closet.

Police later discovered the lockbox was used to store Wright’s medication from a methadone clinic, the affidavit states.

The agreement between Wright and the clinic allowed her to “take a dose of medicine home for her weekend dose,” but it had to be stored in the box, the affidavit states. The same combination number issued to Wright opened the lockbox.

Neighbors initially told police that they didn’t think the crime was random, adding that there had been a lot of traffic in and out of the couple’s apartment.

One of those neighbors told KSAT that he called 911 after seeing Wright’s “blood all over the door.” Her body was found just outside the neighbor’s apartment.

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Avelar-Rodriguez’s bond was set at $1 million. He was 19 years old at the time of the sayings.

He was being held at the Pearsall facility for illegal entry into the U.S. from Honduras, the affidavit states.

About the Author:

Rebecca Salinas has worked as a digital journalist in San Antonio for six years. Her skills include content management, engagement and reporting.