A 30-year-old man was arrested in Brazil on Jan. 18 for his alleged role in the stabbing murder of Brent Sikkema, a prominent art dealer in New York City who was found dead at his Rio de Janeiro home on Jan. 16, according to multiple reports.
Alejandro Triana Trevez of Cuba was taken into custody by police at a gas station in Uberaba, hundreds of miles northwest of Rio de Janeiro, the Associated Press reported. Authorities are investigating the case as a robbery that led to Sikkema’s murder, according to CBN Rio.
Sikkema, 75, founded the Sikkema Jenkins & Co. art gallery and represented artists like Sheila Hicks and Kara Walker. He was last seen on surveillance video when he arrived home shortly after 4:30 p.m. on Jan. 13, according to screenshots of footage published by the Daily Mail.
However, a separate vehicle had arrived on the scene about two hours before Sikkema returned home and remained parked near the residence for hours. At 10:42 p.m., a person believed to be the suspect exited the vehicle to walk around the neighborhood in an apparent effort to survey the area before returning to the car 10 minutes later. The suspect sat there for nearly five hours until he exited the vehicle at 3:43 a.m. on Jan. 14 and entered Sikkema’s residence.
The individual departed the home 14 minutes later and was spotted removing gloves before driving away, according to the Daily Mail.
Authorities said Trevez had $3,000 with him at the time of his arrest and it is believed that he stole that money from Sikkema’s home.
“Initial findings of our investigation indicate that Alejandro (Trevez) came from Sao Paulo specifically to commit this crime,” said Detective Felipe Curi of the Rio State Police’s homicide unit, according to the Associated Press. “He then returned to Sao Paulo, leading investigators to believe he had ‘some kind of privileged information.’”
Curi said authorities have obtained a month-long warrant to further investigate the case.
Sikkema’s business partners posted a note on the Sikkema & Jenkins Co. website acknowledging his death.
“It is with great sadness that the gallery announces the passing of our beloved founder, Brent Sikkema,” states the note, which was signed by Meg Malloy, Michael Jenkins, and the rest of the staff.
Sikkema was raised in Morrison, Illinois, and graduated from the San Francisco Art Institute, according to the partners. He went on to work as the director of exhibitions at the Visual Studies Workshop in Rochester before heading to Boston in 1976 to serve as the director of Vision Gallery. He moved to New York City in 1991 and launched Wooster Gardens, a SoHo-based contemporary art gallery. The gallery relocated to Chelsea in 1999 and several years later it was renamed to Sikkema Jenkins & Co., according to the partners.
“The gallery grieves this tremendous loss and will continue on in his spirit,” the partners wrote.
Multiple reports say Sikkema is survived by his husband and 12-year-old son, but there are very few details about his personal life.