SANTA CRUZ, Calif. (KRON) — A 36-year-old man who was stabbed to death in downtown Santa Cruz was identified by investigators on Wednesday.
Neoklis Koumides was murdered in the area of Cedar and Church streets around 5 a.m. Monday, according to the Santa Cruz Police Department. Detectives said they determined a fight broke out between Koumides and a second man, 64-year-old John Frederick Burke.
Koumides died at Dominican Hospital from his stab wounds. Burke was arrested at 11 p.m. Tuesday after officers found him at his downtown apartment.
Burke was booked into Santa Cruz County Mail Jail on one count of murder. So far, police say it’s unclear how the suspect and victim knew each other.
“Santa Cruz Police Detectives worked diligently over the last two days combing through surveillance video, following leads to identify the suspect in the fatal stabbing. SCPD also conducted a search warrant and discovered evidence supporting witness descriptions and physical evidence linking the suspect to the case,” police wrote.
According to Koumides’ Facebook page, he was born in New York City, grew up on the island of Cyprus, and later went to school at Santa Cruz Alternative High School. His nickname was “Nick the Greek.” Police said Koumides was homeless at the time of his death.
Koumides’ friends are organizing a memorial at the Santa Cruz clock tower that will begin at 5 p.m. Wednesday.