By The Star Staff
It was an accomplice of 18-year-old Jenniel Alexander Rodríguez García who provided evidence that helped police make an arrest in the brutal slayings of an elderly couple in Naguabo around the Thanksgiving Day holiday.
The Police Intelligence and Arrest Division arrested Rodríguez García earlier this week at the Linda Vista motel in the eastern coastal town, where the suspect was staying with a 17-year-old presumed to be his girlfriend.
According to police, officials took all necessary measures during Wednesday’s arrest to guarantee the safety of the suspect, his minor companion, and the agents.
The minor was returned to her family, but protocol calls for officials to notify the Family Department.
“The social team of the Family Department began an investigation this Wednesday after the Police made a referral to the agency after the arrest of an 18-year-old young man accused of the murder of two elderly adults in Naguabo and who, at the time of being located by the authorities, was in the company of a minor,” Family Secretary Ciení Rodríguez Troche said.
“Upon receiving the referral, we immediately entered the investigation that, on our part, will investigate the social part; law-and-order authorities will manage the criminal part,” she added. “The agency’s social workers are conducting the interviews while the investigation remains ongoing. Being in the preliminary stage of the social study, information is limited. Hence, these are, at the moment, the only statements.”
Police Commissioner Antonio López Figueroa described the killings of Henry Irizarry and his wife, Genevive Rodríguez, in the Playa Húcares community in Naguabo as a very violent scene.
According to information obtained from the police, presumably provided by the aforementioned accomplice, the suspects were trying to steal a car from the elderly couple’s residence when Irizarry caught them in the act, and they tried to ensure there were no witnesses left alive.
The suspects used shovels and other tools to kill the couple and then they burned the bodies, police said.
“It is a very complex scene,” López Figueroa said. “This gentleman notices they are trying to invade his home, he confronts the suspects, and they kill him and his wife using tools. They beat them with shovels and other tools that were at the home, and then they burned them. A somber scene.”
Rodríguez García was the couple’s neighbor. He was charged in absentia with first degree murder, aggravated arson, aggravated robbery, destruction of evidence and weapons law violations.
Judge Enid Rivera García found probable cause and set bail at $1.4 million. The name of the accomplice was not revealed.