OMAHA — Omaha police announced the arrest of a 43-year-old man in connection with the city's latest homicide.
James Fairbanks was booked into the Douglas County Jail just before 5 a.m. Tuesday, a police spokesman said. He was arrested on suspicion of criminal homicide in the death of 64-year-old Mattieo Condoluci.
Condoluci was found shot to death Saturday in his home at 4305 Pinkney St.
Police said Monday that they were investigating an email sent that afternoon to local news media in which the author claimed responsibility for the slaying of Condoluci. It's not clear if Fairbanks is the author of that email.
The email writer claimed to have shot Condoluci after learning that he was listed on Nebraska’s sex offender registry. The author said he or she was apartment hunting in the neighborhood where Condoluci lived and learned of him while investigating the neighborhood.
Police are aware of the email and are following up, Lt. Sherie Thomas, a police spokeswoman, said Monday evening.
Condoluci’s daughter, Amanda Henry of Omaha, said her father’s killer should be given probation.
“Murdering my dad was a horrible thing,” she said. “But children are much safer now, any other child he could have hurt is much safer.”
According to the sex offender registry, Condoluci was convicted of attempted lewd or lascivious assault upon a child in 1994 in Florida and sexual assault of a child in Sarpy County in February 2007. Both are felonies.
Monday’s email was sent with the subject line “Mattieo Condoluci Homicide” and came from a “Stop Predators” email address. It was not signed. The author claimed in the email to have killed Condoluci on Thursday evening, which was two days before police discovered Condoluci’s body.
The writer, who wrote of having worked with victimized children, said when he or she drove by Condoluci’s home, he was seen standing in his driveway “pretending to wash his truck (no soap or water just a rag) while staring at a group of children playing in the street. I watched him for a few minutes and just felt sick to my stomach. He just kept staring at them. The kids thankfully left and he went inside.”
The writer said he or she also saw a slide and playhouse in Condoluci’s backyard.
“I felt sick to my stomach. Having had my own experience with these type of predators I knew the damage he would do to those kids. It agonized me for days. I coudnt (sic) sleep.”
The mother of the child involved in Condoluci's Florida conviction said his death is a relief.
Laura Smith said she thinks the incident contributed to her son's later problems with drugs, which claimed his life in 2017.
"I feel like now my son can rest in peace," she said. "This really was a blessing for us, I feel like we finally got justice."
For at least a brief period several years ago, Condoluci was a street minister to Omaha's homeless. Through Disciples for Christ Street Ministry, he served meals at downtown Omaha's Gene Leahy Mall and provided haircuts to the homeless. The ministry's Facebook page was in operation from 2013-2015.
On the Facebook page, Condoluci talks about his outreach and asks for donations.
Smith said it was that publicity that helped her find Condoluci, and about four years ago she started a Facebook page about him and titled it: Matt Condoluci (preditor) (sic)
Smith's Facebook page caught the eye of the individual who claims to have killed Condoluci. The email received by The World-Herald includes this passage:
"One kids mother had created a predator facebook page about him trying to warn people about him. Her son had been assaulted by him when he was 5 and the damage he did led the poor guy to die of a drug overdose years later and his mom directly blamed that incident on him."
Smith said she doesn't know who killed Condoluci.
The homicide investigation is continuing. Police are asking anyone with information to contact Omaha Crime Stoppers at (402) 444-STOP, at www.omahacrimestoppers.org or on the P3 Tips mobile application or call the Homicide unit at 402-444-5656.