Man Accused of Killing North Dakota Dentist Arrested in Oklahoma City
Staff and Wire Reports
FARGO, North Dakota -- Fargo police said a suspect is in custody in Oklahoma in connection to the slaying of a Fargo dentist.
Police said formal charges are expected to be filed Monday against 41-year-old Michael Nakvinda who's being held in an Oklahoma City jail.
The body of dentist Philip Gattuso was found last Monday night in his Fargo condominium. Authorities said his home had been ransacked and his silver Porsche convertible was missing. They said the 49-year-old Gattuso died of a head injury.
At a Saturday night news conference, police said the suspect was arrested in Oklahoma City at 7 a.m., after they got reports of a vehicle with Oklahoma license plates pulling what appeared to be the missing Porsche. One caller said the vehicle had been spotted at an Interstate 29 rest area.
Police said a check of surveillance video from the rest area led them to the license plate number of the suspicious vehicle, and Oklahoma authorities helped check vehicle rental businesses.
"Investigators contacted the Oklahoma Bureau of Investigation and asked for their assistance in checking with the U-Haul rental facilities in and around Oklahoma City to see if they could identify the person who had rented the trailer that was seen at the South Dakota rest area. Oklahoma authorities were quickly able to identify the person," said Fargo Police Chief Keith Ternes.
Nakvinda is awaiting extradition, and prosecutors said authorities are looking at a number of charges. Court records indicate Nakvinda has an extensive criminal history.
They have not released information about the relationship between the suspect and Gattuso. Fargo Police Capt. Tod Dahle said the missing Porsche was found in an Oklahoma City storage facility Monday morning.
Gattuso's family is trying to cope and figure out who will take care of his daughter whose mother died in March.
"Gone through an unbelievable ordeal and it's continuing. This does give us some closure, and it will be, nothing will be easy, but at least when we bring my brother back and have his funeral on Wednesday, the family will know that, at least what took place," said Roy Gattuso, Philip's brother.