The suspect Boston police accused of kidnapping a 23-year-old woman who was found dead inside a car’s trunk last week bought duct tape, candles, surgical gloves and bleach following the woman's disappearance, a report said, prosecutors said.
Louis D. Coleman III, 32, of Providence, R.I., who was named as a suspect in connection with the disappearance of Jassy Correia, was arrested in Delaware after a police chase. Authorities said she died from strangulation and blunt force trauma.
He is facing a federal charge of kidnapping resulting in death in connection to the woman’s death, MassLive.com reported. The report said that the charge could result in the death penalty.
Cops found Correia's body, the 23-year-old's family told WBZ-TV. The Boston Police Department said in a statement that a body was indeed "recovered," however, police were still "awaiting a positive identification." Correia, who's survived by her 2-year-old daughter, was reportedly last seen at the Venu Nightclub early Sunday “in the company of an unknown male” and was seen getting into a red car with him.
MassLive.com reported that surveillance footage from the suspect’s apartment building shows him returning to his car at around 4:15 a.m. on Feb. 24 with a blanket and then walking from the car to the “front of the building carrying a body with long hair and clothing consistent with” her description. The body did not show any signs of life, court records said, according to reports.
On Thursday, Coleman was seen on video wheeling a large suitcase out of his apartment and to his car in the parking lot, and lifting the suitcase — with some apparent difficulty — into the trunk of his vehicle, prosecutors said. Later that day, police in Delaware stopped Coleman’s vehicle on Interstate 95 near Wilmington. When asked by officers if anyone else was in the vehicle, Coleman said words to the effect of “she’s in the trunk,” according to prosecutors.
Correia’s body was found in a suitcase, wrapped in a sofa cushion cover that was inside a trash bag, authorities said. They noted the victim, who was bruised and had a bloodied face, had been bound with duct tape and her body covered in what was believed to be baking soda.
Rachael Rollins, the district attorney for Suffolk County in Massachusetts, said her office had not ruled out bringing state-level charges against Coleman, but added that having the U.S. Attorney lead the prosecution “is in the best interests of the case.”
Rhode Island police have also filed charges in the case.
The Associated Press contributed to this report