Evidence found in homicide case of GP Sports employee

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Court documents are revealing disturbing new evidence against the man accused of killing his co-worker Kyle Myrick in San Jose. (KGO-TV)

A man accused of killing his co-worker is facing homicide charges and made his first court appearance on Wednesday afternoon.

Officials said a fire-damaged building next to GP Sports on Camden Avenue is where homicide detectives said they found a severed ear, a pool of blood, blood on the walls and a trail blood. They said it indicates a violent attack and that a body was dragged out of that building and put into a pick-up truck.

VIDEO: Los Altos murder suspect denies killing co-worker, says he was framed

The two co-workers had been assembling all-terrain vehicles in the yard at GP Sports, but what exactly prompted the attack is unknown.

Steve Hlebo's arraignment in superior court lasted all of two minutes. He is being held without bail and is scheduled to be in court again in mid-February.

ABC7 News reporter David Louie talked with him Monday in jail for an interview that lasted about 45 minutes in which Hlebo, 39, said he did not kill 28-year-old Kyle Myrick and does not know where he is. "I am not a murderer. I did not murder anyone," he said.

WATCH VIDEO: Mother makes plea for public's help to find son believed to be killed

The two men worked only four days together at GP Sports, a motorcycle shop, before Myrick disappeared last Friday afternoon.

When police later discovered blood at the scene, they believed Myrick could still be alive.

They staked out Hlebo's Los Altos home until he returned home. Blood was found inside the cab of the pickup truck, but Myrick has never been found.

The prosecutor said that does not diminish her case. "I have every confidence in this case based on the investigation so far and the investigation is on going and we're going to be getting more information. And we're just hopeful at this point really to focus on finding Mr. Myrick's body," Deputy District Attorney Sumerle Davis said.

Workers at GP Sports are devastated. Myrick was well-liked and willing to do any job. As for Hlebo, the owner says he never failed a drug test and never exhibited unusual behavior, although he did say he seemed "off" the day of the attack.

Store owner David Murdaugh said, "Steve looked tired that day, but said he hadn't slept. But he was kind of a quiet guy anyway."

Police searched Hlebo's Los Altos home soon after discovering the crime scene. Now, friends and family say it's up to them to find him.

Search teams have fanned out daily. "What we want is for Kyle to come home. Obviously, his parents are suffering right now in looking at some of the evidence and whatever it takes for Kyle to come home, that's what we want," the victim's brother Shane Myrick said.

In court documents, detectives say Hlebo told a family member that he had killed Myrick and dumped his body in the ocean.

Brian Davis considered Myrick a son. "He's always going to be with us you know and I saw him turning into a nice young man and this isn't right," he said.

Myrick's brother Rick Myrick made a public plea saying, "Take a look, you know, take five minutes, take the dog for a walk, you know just help me find my brother."

WATCH VIDEO: San Jose police arrest man on suspicion of murdering co-worker

How the investigation began

This case started when officers received a call of a suspicious circumstance at the vehicle shop GP Sports around 6:20 p.m. Friday, police said. They learned an employee, Myrick, had been missing for several hours and was allegedly assaulted at a neighboring building.

Investigators learned that earlier in the day around 1 p.m., an employee instructed Hlebo to assemble two all-terrain vehicles at a lot behind the shop, according to a statement of facts on the case from police.

The employee sent Myrick to the lot around 2 p.m. to help Hlebo and went out to check on them about an hour later, but the gate to the lot was locked. When Hlebo opened the gate for the employee, Myrick was nowhere to be found. The employee asked Hlebo where Myrick was, but he said he didn't know. The employee went back to the shop's service floor but returned to the lot around 5 p.m. to find the gate was locked again, according to police.

Once Hlebo unlocked the gate, the employee still couldn't find Myrick and saw a GMC Sierra pickup truck that belonged to Hlebo parked at the back of a vacant building on store property. The employee later told officers that the vacant building hasn't been used since a fire in 2014 and no one parked their cars at the rear of the lot, where merchandise was stored, according to police.

The employee and other workers looked for Myrick at the vacant building around 6 p.m., but Hlebo declined to enter the structure because he believed there were ghosts inside and left the store.

In the empty building, two employees entered a storage room where they found fresh blood and notified police. Officers suspected Hlebo assaulted Myrick and took him away in the truck, police said.

Officers went to Hlebo's Los Altos home on Los Ninos Way around 11:30 p.m., saw the suspect return shortly after 2 a.m. and arrested him. They obtained a search warrant at Hlebo's home and car, where they found blood in the truck's cab. The warrant also allowed officers to get a DNA sample from the suspect.

In an interview with homicide detectives, Hlebo said he was in a physical fight with Myrick, police said.

A friend said Myrick enjoyed riding motorcycles and they would always go to Sonoma Raceway every year to watch NASCAR races.

Police have released photos of the suspect vehicle, described as a white 2003 GMC Sierra 1500 truck with California license plate 60414R1 with tinted windows and may have missing lights on the front bumper.

Investigators are looking to speak with anyone who saw the truck between 6 p.m. Friday and 2 a.m. Saturday. Anyone with information on the homicide is asked to call police Detective Sgt. Paul Hamblin or Detective Jason Tanner at (408) 277-5283.

Bay City news contributed to this report.

Related Topics:
crimearrestSJPDmurdermissing personcourtcourt casehomicidehomicide investigationSan Jose
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