“He brushed it off and said ‘I’ve had much worse than that,’” said Rhonda Prast, an assistant managing editor at The Review-Journal who worked closely with Mr. German in recent months. “He wasn’t nervous about it. He wasn’t concerned. Neither was I.”

In recent weeks, Mr. German had continued to report on the public administrator office, recently filing a records request for text messages and emails that Mr. Telles had sent. Ms. Reid said Mr. Telles remained infuriated by the scrutiny.

The authorities said that on a Friday morning this month, Mr. Telles, who lived about a 15-minute drive from Mr. German, went to the reporter’s house and got into some altercation with him.

The police said they had not recovered a murder weapon but that they did find Mr. Telles’s D.N.A. at the crime scene. Investigators also searched Mr. Telles’s home and car and found a hat and shoes that matched those worn by a person seen on surveillance video of the scene. Both the hat and shoes had been cut up, the police said, and the shoes had blood on them.

The man pictured on the surveillance video was wearing an orange construction vest, gloves and a large straw hat that hid his face. The police said Mr. Telles had been trying to conceal his identity. A series of road construction projects were taking place near Mr. German’s home last week, and many workers wore similar outfits.

Before he was arrested, Mr. Telles ignored reporters’ questions outside of his home.

Mr. Telles’s former wife, Tonia Burton, said she had been stunned to see that Mr. Telles had been accused of the murder.

“I’m just watching and in shock and not sure of anything,” said Ms. Burton, who was married to Mr. Telles until 2008. “I don’t think that there’s any explanation that we can come up with until he either confirms or denies that this happened.”

Ms. Burton said that two of Mr. Telles’s children had been at his home when the police showed up to search the house but had left before he was arrested. The police said Mr. Telles had hurt himself before he was taken into custody. He appeared in court on Thursday with bandages on both of his arms, and a judge ordered him to remain in jail as the case proceeded.

At The Review-Journal, Mr. German’s desk is now covered with flowers and a framed copy of a front page featuring one of the articles he wrote about irresponsible spending by the tourism agency.

Mr. German’s colleagues at the newspaper now face the difficult task of covering his murder while mourning a friend. They were among the journalists at Mr. Telles’s home, peppering him with questions in the hours before he was arrested.

The coverage of Mr. German’s death has dominated the front page of the paper that used to carry his byline. “RJ reporter is killed,” read the first headline about the crime, followed by “Suspect’s image released” and “New details in stabbing.” And then, finally, on Thursday: “Stunning arrest.”

Kitty Bennett contributed research.

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