The first of the five fatal stabbings attributed to Elias Abuelazam occurred May 24, just a couple of blocks from his residence in Flint, Mich. Until last night, when police swarmed the house where he lived, neighbors never put 2 and 2 together.
"We knew something was going on. We figured it had to be pretty big," Ruth Harper, who lives across the street from Abuelazam's home, told NBC station WILX of Lansing today. She says she and others in the neighborhood were rattled awake about 3:30 a.m. when police entered the suspect's home.
It all makes sense now to neighbor Joann Acre.
"I saw him yesterday bring a suitcase outside. He brought the suitcase next door," she says. "You don't think [the whole ordeal] going to land near you." ...
"We know about the killing down the road. We just didn't know it was part of everything else happening," Harper says.
Her husband, however, did take notice of Abuelazam's car. Her neighbor's dark green SUV matched the description of the suspect's car, but they never called police.
"He more or less noticed it," she explains.