A man was arrested in Brazil on Thursday in connection with the killing of Brent Sikkema, a New York art dealer who was found with 18 stab wounds in his Rio de Janeiro apartment this week.
The man, Alejandro Triana Trevez, knew Mr. Sikkema and was believed to have stolen cash from the scene before fleeing, said Detective Alexandre Herdy, head of the city’s police homicide unit. The police believe that Mr. Sikkema had brought over $40,000 to spend on furnishing a new apartment in Rio.
Officers recovered a bloodied knife from the apartment.
“He staked out on the street,” Detective Herdy said. “He comes from São Paulo in the morning, goes straight to the place where the crime took place, to the victim’s street. Parks the car and stays there for several hours.”
Mr. Trevez, a Cuban national, was apprehended at a gas station between the cities of Uberaba and Uberlandia, about 600 miles northwest of Rio de Janeiro. It is not clear whether he has a lawyer.
Detective Herdy said Mr. Trevez tried to evade the Rio authorities after news media outlets published security camera footage. That footage showed him exiting a parked car outside the art dealer’s apartment in the early hours of Sunday morning.
“Images of the crime began to circulate in the press,” the detective said. “We almost lost him.”
Detective Herdy said new information indicated that Mr. Trevez and Mr. Sikkema had been together in Rio last summer, though the exact nature of their relationship was still unknown.
The dealer’s namesake gallery, Sikkema Jenkins & Co., focuses on contemporary art and moved from the SoHo neighborhood to the Chelsea arts district in 1999. Alexander Gray, a New York gallerist, said this week that Mr. Sikkema nurtured a generation of artists exploring identity, representation and experimental forms.
Mr. Sikkema, 75, represented artists including Kara Walker, Vik Muniz, Sheila Hicks, Louis Fratino and Jennifer Packer. One of the gallery’s top artists, Jeffrey Gibson, is preparing to represent the United States at the Venice Biennale in April.
Scott Briscoe, a spokesman for Sikkema Jenkins & Co., said it would soon announce a memorial to celebrate Mr. Sikkema’s life and accomplishments.
“The outpouring of love and appreciation for Brent has been overwhelming and a tremendous source of comfort to all of us at the gallery,” Mr. Briscoe said. “We thank everyone for their support and care during this difficult time.”