11-18-11 Update: CENTREVILLE, Va. — A Centreville family is relieved with the arrest of a suspect in the murder of their handyman. Twenty-two-year-old Reynard Prather of Oxon Hill, Md., has been indicted by a federal grand jury for weapons violations and conspiracy charges for his alleged role in the attempted robbery and murder of Jose Rosales.
Jose Rosales, a Guatemalan immigrant was a handyman, for the Brar family of Centreville, Virginia, working at their mansion and in their construction and real estate businesses.
He was also a devout Christian who led Bible study classes at his church — at least when he wasn’t working to send money home to Guatemala, where his two sons are in college. He’d been in America for eight years, hoping to earn enough money to buy a farm back in his homeland.
But that all came to an end on May 17, 2010.
He was toiling at the Brars’ 9,000-square-foot manse when two gunmen broke into their four-car garage, attempting to rob the family. That’s when our humble handyman stood up.
He placed himself between the gunmen and the family and refused to let the men pass, pretending he was a family member himself. “Get away from my brother and my mom,” he told them.
Then he jumped one of them and wrestled his gun away. But the other gunman pointed his own weapon and the mother, threatening to shoot her if he didn’t give the gun back.
Jose did. And that’s when they decided to shoot him.
The men fled after killing Jose, and were last seen fleeing in a Toyota truck. Police aren’t sure if the family was targeted, or if the bad guys randomly selected the house. Either way, they’re describing Jose as a hero.
The suspects were described as black, about 5 feet 10 inches tall. They both wore dark-colored shirts and work pants. One suspect was older, in his late 20s to mid 30s. He had a darker complexion and spoke with a distinct, raspy voice. He may be a heavy smoker. He had a faint, thin goatee on his face. He is believed to be the gunman. The second suspect was younger, between 20 and 25 years old. He had a lighter complexion and a faint, thin beard and mustache. He called the older suspect “Slim.” The pickup truck seen near the home was an older-model, white Toyota with dark, tinted windows.
The Brar family says the same. “Without Jose, I firmly believe I would not be alive right now,” Robbie Brar told the Post. “In a situation where most people probably run away, not only did he not run away, but he stood strong to protect people that are not related to him. He’s a guardian angel.”
The Brar family has added $25,000 to the reward fund in addition to the $1,000 reward being offered by CrimeStoppers.
Anyone with information about the truck or the homicide is asked to call Fairfax police Crime Solvers at 1-866-411-TIPS/8477.