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What's being called "a random killing" in the Town of Albion has apparently been confirmed as such – by the accused murderer himself.

Now, Orleans County officials are telling Town of Albion residents to be vigilant and aware.

24-year-old Luis Rodriguez-Flamenco is charged with 2nd-degree Murder and is in jail today, after police say he fatally stabbed Kathleen Byham of Albion outside the local Wal-Mart store.

"We obtained a confession from him, and his statement to us is that he doesn't really know why he did it," says Orleans County Undersheriff Steven Smith. The undersheriff says Rodriguez-Flamenco admits that he wanted to steal a car at Wal-Mart, and Byham's vehicle just happened to be the one he targeted.

"He didn't target her until she came out of the store," says Smith. "At some point, he did get possession of her car keys – there was a struggle – and then...he took out a knife and stabbed her several times."

Rodriguez-Flamenco did not end up stealing the car. He was chased from the parking lot by witnesses, who also came to Byham's aid. Rodriguez-Flamenco was later located in a nearby house, with two other men.

All three of the men apprehended are illegal immigrants. Rodriguez-Flamenco is from Honduras in the Central Americas.

Undersheriff Smith said there is no indication of gang activity in the crime, after there had originally been some indication of an initiation-type event.


"We've looked into that at length; so far our best information is not connected in any way to a gang," Smith said.

Rodriguez-Flamenco was not employed anywhere at the time of the attack, though it's unclear if he ever was.

This is the third violent murder reported in Orleans County over a short period of time. The first occurred in the Town of Holley early this year, where another illegal immigrant, Carlos Cardenas,
is accused of strangling his 15-year-old sister-in-law. And in August, 32-year-old David Grove of Albion was shot and killed in the basement of a burned-out home in the village. There have not been any arrests in that killing.

When asked if Albion residents should be worried, or feel unsafe now, Smith stopped short of the oft-used answer that "everything is safe." Instead, he offered advice to area residents: "Always be aware of your surroundings, always be vigilant, and always be careful."

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