A new break and a familiar 'person of interest' in young couple's murder
LAS VEGAS (KSNV News3LV) —
There is a potential break in a high-profile murder case involving a young couple in southwest Las Vegas.
21-year-olds Neo Kauffman and Sydney Land were found dead in their apartment at the end of October.
Investigators have identified a 'person of interest' in the case.
It turns out, the couple knew the man and he's already behind bars for a separate crime. He's in jail facing charges for a different crime that may be related to the murders.
News 3 has learned Metro Police are looking at talking to Shane Valentine.
The 23-year-old faced a judge Tuesday morning in connection with a shooting at Kauffman's family home on Oct. 8.
Valentine's bail was set at $50,000. The judge told the courtroom Valentine has prior arrests for assault with a deadly weapon and home invasion.
Neighbor Frank Artiglere said he heard the gunfire from his garage.
"I heard a bang, and being there's so much activity out here, I just thought it was a firecracker," explained Artiglere. "When I came out, there was a car and when they saw me, they sped off.”
Kauffman hasn't lived at his family's home since June.
Instead, he was living with Land in an apartment off Hualapai and Peace. It's where the couple was found murdered nearly three weeks after the Oct. 8 shooting.
News 3 obtained a Metro police report which reveals two of Kauffman's friends told police that Valentine was a possible suspect in the couple's death.
According to police, Valentine was upset with Kauffman before the couple was murdered.
Investigators say cell phone records show Valentine sent death threats over text message to Kauffman the day he allegedly shot up Kauffman's family home.
It turns out, Valentine is no stranger to law enforcement.
He was out on bond awaiting sentencing for a high-profile burglary in March at a gated south Summerlin home.
In surveillance video, police say Valentine is seen jumping over a fence before trying to break a window with a rock.
"It's really scary," said homeowner Kim Crohn. "He hit the same spot over and over. He had to work to get that hole in it.”