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Real estate safety expert suggests safety procedures for agents because of dangerous nature of job

Authorities have a suspect in custody after Sodoro homicide
Posted at 9:28 AM, Dec 31, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-31 11:16:32-05

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — The Douglas County Sheriff's office announced they have one suspect in custody in connection to the homicide of real estate agent Michael Sodoro.

Ross Lorello was booked into Douglas County Corrections Wednesday afternoon on one count of criminal homicide.

Micheal Sodoro was reported missing Monday night and his body was found Tuesday at his family's rental property near 192 Street and W Street.

Authorities said Sodoro met Lorello at the home to show him the property.

Authorities advised agents to not show homes alone for the time being.

"As a general practice, we should all, if we’re going to show homes, as realtors you do it in pairs. I can’t say that there’s a danger to the public because I don’t know at this point but do it in pairs until we can get to the bottom of this investigation," Captain Eric Sellers said.

Real estate safety expert Tracey Hawkins suggested using safety practices because of the dangers that could come with the profession. She said using apps like Agent Safe Walk, Forewarn or even sharing your location with a trusted colleague on Google Maps could decrease the chances of harm.

"People must be able to find you. Secondly [the app] has to have a live component. Someone must be able to talk to you and look at you before a crime begins. That decreases the opportunity to be victimized," Hawkins said.

Hawkins believes safety training should be regularly incorporated into agents' routines as well as common protocol for firms.

"Get your foundation in order, get proper training. Learn how to screen people, learn how to properly show, who goes first, who goes second. Make sure your exits aren’t blocked, how to show an open house," Hawkins said.