The New Bedford Police Department, Massachusetts State Police, United States Marshals Service, and Bristol District Attorney’s Office announce that the fugitive wanted for fatally shooting two men in October was captured yesterday in North Carolina.

Carmelo Kercado, Jr., 35, was arrested in Concord, N.C., early yesterday afternoon. Task force officers had set up surveillance on an address there after Troopers from the MSP’s Violent Fugitive Apprehension Section and members of the U.S. Marshals Service in Boston developed intelligence that he may have been there. The U.S. Marshals Service North Carolina Joint Fugitive Task Force took Kercado into custody at approximately 1:25 p.m.

On Oct. 10, 2017, Kercado fatally shot Stephen Bodden, 27, and Fabio Tavares, 28, in a vehicle in which they were driving on Central Avenue in New Bedford, according to evidence developed in the investigation. After the shooting the vehicle crashed into a parked car and Kercado fled on foot.

The MSP’s Violent Fugitive Apprehension Section soon added Kercado to its list of Most Wanted fugitives and began working intensively with the Marshals Service to locate him.

“Investigators worked countless hours on this case, conducting surveillance, pouring through intelligence, and authoring and executing search warrants,” Colonel Kerry A. Gilpin, Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police said. “This suspect’s apprehension is another step closer to obtaining justice for the victims of his crime and their families.”

U.S. Marshal John Gibbons of the District of Massachusetts added: “Although Carmelo Kercado thought he could flee the Commonwealth after allegedly committing a double homicide in an effort to avoid prosecution, our state, local and federal law enforcement partners proved otherwise by working collaboratively and tirelessly to bring him to justice. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims’ families.”

New Bedford Police Chief Joseph C. Cordeiro stated: “I am very appreciative of the hard work by the New Bedford Police Department’s Detective Division, MSP fugitive unit troopers, District Attorney’s Office and the U.S. Marshals in apprehending Mr. Kercado and ensuring the safety of our community and justice for the victims and their families.”

The office of Bristol County District Attorney Thomas Quinn III will work with North Carolina authorities to arrange Kercado’s rendition to Massachusetts to be prosecuted for the homicides.

“I am very pleased that this dangerous fugitive was apprehended,” District Attorney Quinn said. “I would like to thank the U.S. Marshals and Massachusetts State Police fugitive unit for their persistence in tracking down and arresting the defendant. I would also to thank our State Police unit at the district attorney’s office and New Bedford Police for their tireless work in investigating this violent double homicide. This is great news, especially right before Christmas, for the victim’s family and the community.

Marshal Gibbons commended “all the agencies involved in the investigation, manhunt and capture of Carmelo Kercado to include members of the Massachusetts State Police, New Bedford, Mass. and Concord, N.C., Police Departments, the Bristol County District Attorney’s Office, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts, and the U.S. Marshals Service Fugitive Task Forces’ from the Districts of Massachusetts, Middle and Western North Carolina.”

--New Bedford Police