UPDATED: Police identify Delavan fatal stabbing victim, suspect

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Andrea Anderson
May 5, 2014

DELAVAN—The man stabbed to death Sunday in Delavan was a family man, one neighbor said.

Investigators on Monday afternoon identified Ivan Guerrero as the man killed and Rafael Olivarez as the man suspected of stabbing him.

Guerrero, 31, lived at the apartment at 509 Lawson School Road where the stabbing happened. He had invited family to visit Saturday, Delavan Police Chief Timothy O'Neill said.

Early Sunday morning, a family argument escalated, and Olivarez, 39, stabbed Guerrero, O'Neill said.

The two men are cousins, O'Neill said.

The Delavan Police Department and the Walworth County Sheriff's Office responded to the apartment at about 3:17 a.m., Sunday.

Olivarez was taken into custody, and Guerrero was taken to Mercy Hospital and Trauma Center in Janesville, where he died, O'Neill said.

Olivarez was being held at the Walworth County Jail while the homicide investigation continued, O'Neill said. Charges are pending.

A knife believed to be the weapon was found at the scene, O'Neill said.

Preliminary interviews were completed Monday, and police reports should be sent by Tuesday to the Walworth County District Attorney's Office, he said.

Charges could be filed Tuesday or Wednesday, O'Neill said.

O'Neill  said several people were in the apartment at the time of the stabbing, and another person suffered minor injuries and was treated at the scene.

The two men were arguing about a deceased family member and the events surrounding that death several years ago, O'Neill said.

Police were called after someone in the apartment contacted someone outside the apartment who then called the police after the stabbing, he said.

Olivarez was waiting for police outside the apartment when officers arrived, he said.

Guerrero's four children and another visiting child were upstairs sleeping when the incident occurred. Police had the children exit the home through an upstairs window and down a ladder, O'Neill said.

Tom Wood, who lives in an apartment kitty-corner to Guerrero, said Guerrero was a "good guy." Wood's daughter played with one of Guerrero's four children.

Wood was out of town Saturday night and returned Sunday morning to find police and firefighters spraying blood off the sidewalk and into the grass, he said.

He said he was "beyond belief" when he found out what had happened.

"When it's right next to home, it's kind of scary," Wood said.

Wood said Guerrero and his family are "decent people who kept to themselves" and had frequent family gatherings.

An autopsy was underway Monday afternoon, O'Neill said.

O'Neill said police were seeking no additional suspects.

“I think the good news is we're not looking for anybody else,” O'Neill said.

Officers were on scene for about eight hours.

A priest, a Delavan detective, a Delavan officer and at least one sheriff's deputy conducted interviews in Spanish during the investigation.

Interpreters could be requested by District Attorney Daniel Necci after reviewing the police reports, O'Neill said.

Those interpreters do not have to be certified, Walworth County Clerk of Courts Sheila Reiff said.

Certified interpreters are mandatory for court, she said, "so there isn't any question about the interpretation." Certified interpreters go through training and state certification.

In court, interpreters must translate information simultaneously. In the field, interpreters can translate consecutively.

Walworth County has a contract with Southern Wisconsin Interpreting and Translation Services, in Elkhorn, where interpreters of several languages are on call.

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