2 charged in killing of 4 relatives in Puerto Rico

AP News
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Posted: Nov 20, 2014 11:36 AM

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Two men have been charged with first-degree murder in the killings of a retired Army sergeant and three other family members, police said Thursday.

Christopher Sanchez Asencio and Jose Bosch Mulero, both 27, also face nearly 40 other counts, including aggravated kidnapping of a minor and destruction of evidence.

They were being held on $8 million bond each.

The victims include 67-year-old Miguel Ortiz Diaz, his wife, a 15-year-old son and his mother-in-law. They were fatally shot late Monday at their home in the upscale city of Guaynabo, southwest of the capital of San Juan. Police said a 13-year-old son survived after being stabbed and thrown off a bridge in the neighboring municipality of Bayamon.

It is unclear whether the suspects have attorneys, although Bosch spoke briefly to reporters on Wednesday after he was arrested.

"To the boy who survived, I am truly sorry for what happened," he said.

Police have said they believe Ortiz was killed by people who were renting a house he owned and were facing eviction because they had fallen behind on the rent.

The 13-year-old boy remains hospitalized and is expected to recover as government officials debate who should obtain custody of him. His mother and grandmother had Peruvian citizenship, and family members in Peru have expressed interest in bringing him to the South American country.

Isadora Hernandez, a spokeswoman for Puerto Rico's Department of State, said in a phone interview that two Puerto Ricans have offered to pay for the flights and hotel of the victims' family members who live in Peru.

Ortiz had been a professor for nearly 20 years at Puerto Rico's American Military Academy, where his sons also were enrolled.