AVENTURA, Fla. – Florida authorities arrested a hospital patient for allegedly strangling his roommate to death.
Police say the victim, Raul Alexander Rios, was killed Thursday by a patient sharing his room.
“My brother is an amazing, gentle person. Despite all his problems, he studied and he wanted to be a teacher for people like him,” said Francis Paloumbis.
Rios’ family says he has struggled with mental illness since he was a teenager.
Two weeks ago, they checked him into Aventura Hospital because he was depressed.
“He was sad, depressed, didn’t want to eat, didn’t want to drink,” said Giovanna Paloumbis.
Last Thursday, another man was checked into Rios’ room.
Hours later, Rios was dead, strangled to death just five days after his 32nd birthday.
“Now he’s gone. We can’t bring him back. They treated him like road kill. He was dead on the floor face down. Where was security?” said Francis Paloumbis.
According to the arrest affidavit, he told police he had killed someone.
The affidavit also says Rios was last seen alive less than an hour before they found him on the floor.
His mother and two sisters are devastated, saying they want to know how something like is could happen in place that was supposed to help.
“No one has told us anything, other than he was strangled with a bed sheet and with hands,” said Francis Paloumbis.
The hospital issued a statement following the death of Rios, saying “The security and well-being of our patients, staff and visitors remain of utmost importance.”
The 31-year-old suspect is jailed without bond.