Joe Andrew Cortez. Photo courtesy of Crime Stoppers
Joe Andrew Cortez. Photo courtesy of Crime Stoppers

Authorities asked the public Wednesday to keep an eye out for an 18-year-old Mexican national suspected of fatally stabbing a co-worker last week during an argument at the victim’s South Bay home.

Joe Andrew Cortez allegedly killed 44-year-old Rene Pressa of Chula Vista early Thursday. Cortez, a restaurant employee who worked with the victim, apparently was injured during the altercation and left a blood trail leading away from Pressa’s Third Avenue apartment, CVPD Lt. Fritz Reber said.

The suspect was believed to have walked, barefoot and clad in shorts and a black tank top, to the U.S.-Mexico border before crossing into Baja California and returning home, the lieutenant said.

Police and U.S. Marshals Service personnel coordinated with Mexican authorities to arrest Cortez at his Tijuana residence, but he had fled by the time officers arrived.

The suspect was described as a 5-foot-5-inch, roughly 150-pound Latino with black hair and brown eyes.

Anyone with information about his whereabouts was asked to call San Diego County Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477, or email the agency at Tipsters may remain anonymous and could be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.

— City News Service