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Nebraska Agent Killed During Home Showing

A 70-year-old Omaha real estate agent appears to have been killed by a potential renter, Ross S. Lorello III, who police arrested based on evidence at the crime scene.

OMAHA, Neb. – Court documents reveal more details surrounding the death of an Omaha, Neb., real estate agent who was found dead at a home he was showing to a potential renter last week.

Agent Michael “Mickey” Sodoro, 70, was reported missing by his family members after he never returned from a showing he had at a vacant home listed for rent. Police discovered his body the next day in the home’s crawl space.

Police have arrested Ross S. Lorello III, 43, in connection with Sodoro’s death. Sodoro reportedly showed Lorello the rental home on the evening of Dec. 28, but Sodoro’s family told local media that Sodoro never returned home after that meeting. They found Sodoro’s car about a half-mile from the home.

County sheriff deputies discovered Sodoro’s body the next day at the rental property in a ground-level crawl space partially blocked by a shelving unit, KETV Omaha ABC News reports. An autopsy confirmed that Sodoro’s death was caused by a single gunshot wound to the back of his head.

Lorello reportedly told deputies that he gave Sodoro $9,700 in cash on Dec. 28 and signed the lease to rent the home before locking up and leaving. But deputies say they’ve identified two palm prints from the upstairs bathtub, and one of those prints, covered in blood, was allegedly identified by police as belonging to Lorello. Police also discovered a revolver in the trunk of Lorello’s girlfriend’s car, which surveillance footage recorded Lorello driving on Dec. 28.

A preliminary hearing has been set for Feb. 16.

Safety remains an ongoing concern for Realtors, and the local Douglas County Sheriff’s office told news media after Sodoro’s death that real estate professionals should work in pairs when showing homes.

The National Association of Realtors® (NAR) maintains a dedicated webpage for safety issues, with advice for Realtors to minimize danger.

Source: “Affidavit: Bloody Palm Print, Revolver Led to Arrest After Real Estate Agent Found Dead in Crawl Space,” KETV ABC News (Jan. 4, 2020)

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