Troopers stopped to help a Virginia man who’d gotten into a traffic crash Sunday afternoon on the Palmetto Expressway near Miami Lakes. A foul odor wafted from the trunk. Inside was the body of a hip-hop artist who went missing over a week ago.
Monday afternoon Miami-Dade police detectives arrested the man they believe shot and killed Brian Trotter, 25, who disappeared from Triangle, Virginia, on Oct. 17. Robert Deupree Avery Coltrain, 25, has been charged with second-degree murder and illegal transport of human remains.
Coltrain was booked into a Miami-Dade jail on Monday afternoon.
Trotter was a former Virginia high-school athlete who was trying to forge a hip-hop career, according to friends and family. His hip-hop name was “Kent Won’t Stop.”
He’d been friends with Coltrain for more than a decade — the two played sports together and promoted their music. On Saturday, Oct. 17, Coltrain drove his silver Acura to pick up Trotter at his home in Triangle, a town about 30 miles outside Washington, D.C., where he lived with his father.
“I heard a knock on the door. It was Rob. He was very reluctant to talk to me. I noticed he was acting really strange,” said Trotter’s father, who is also named Brian Trotter. “Usually, Rob comes in the house. This time, he was real distant and nervous and antsy.”
The two men said they were going to “take pictures” in Washington D.C. — the elder Trotter assumed it was promotional photos for their music. The father and son embraced. “I told him, ‘I love you,’ and he said, ‘I love you,’” the father recalled.
When the younger Trotter never returned home, the family filed a missing-persons report and kept calling Coltrain. He told them conflicting stories, Trotter’s father recalled, including that he’d dropped his friend off in Washington and another friend picked him up.
For the following week, as Coltrain apparently drove south, friends posted pleas for help on social media and even created a Facebook page to help find Trotter.
Then on Sunday afternoon, the Florida Highway Patrol was dispatched to a crash on the Palmetto Expressway near Northwest 154th Street. The car was a silver Acura and had been driving north when it got into the accident on the rain-soaked highway.
The Acura was towed to the parking lot of Hialeah’s Westland Mall so troopers could investigate. Once there, troopers became suspicious when Coltrain asked to get his belongings from the Acura — and they noticed he removed a Glock gun case, according to an arrest report.
They also noticed the smell of rotting flesh and flies buzzing around the car. Inside the trunk, troopers found Trotter’s body “wrapped in a piece of fabric and in an advanced stage of decomposition,” according to a report by Miami-Dade Detective Omar Manresa.
To troopers, Coltrain made a “spontaneous statement” that the body “was a male,” the report said. An initial autopsy revealed Trotter had been shot to death.
At police headquarters, Coltrain refused to speak to Miami-Dade homicide detectives, who took over the investigation, the report said. But Coltrain was allowed to call Trotter’s sister — and as detectives listened in, he apologized and said the death happened in Virginia, multiple law-enforcement sources said.
Because the body was found in Miami-Dade County, the case can still be prosecuted here under Florida law.
Inside the car, investigators discovered the Glock .45-caliber pistol believed to have been used to kill the man. Detectives are still trying to determine a motive for the man’s killing.
“No one can understand what happened,” Trotter’s father said. “Hopefully, police can shed a light on what made a friend of over 10 years decide to commit something like that.”
--By David Ovalle, Miami Herald