Citizens of Worcester, Mass., were devastated in early February to learn that 49-year-old Sandra “Buffy” Hehir, a middle school instructional assistant, had been found beaten, assaulted, and strangled to death in her apartment.
More than a month later, prosecutors said DNA evidence from an unsolved rape in 2000 matched that taken from the crime scene, and Jose Melendez, 55, was charged with murder.
NBC Boston reports that Melendez has a long rap sheet and had been arrested several days earlier on an unrelated warrant but was never seen in court; “He was instead allowed to be kept hidden behind a door in the courtroom with a Spanish interpreter.”
Now, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has confirmed that Melendez is in the country illegally.
— NBC Boston (@nbcboston) March 30, 2017
ICE had put a detainer on Mendelez on the day of his arrest but had not confirmed his immigration status to the media.
ICE confirms immigration detainer placed on Jose Melendez, suspect in murder of Worcester teacher's aid, Sandra Hehir. #WBZ
— Louisa Moller (@LouisaMoller) March 24, 2017
— Buster Pitts (@buster_pitts) March 26, 2017
"As far as the mainstream media goes, they have been keeping mum about the murder." Why would he be deported… https://t.co/ZmXovTFcWf
— Roald C. Harr (@roaldc48) March 26, 2017
— ??Sara?? (@Sara90919294) March 29, 2017