-By John Lynds
The East Boston teen arrested in connection with last week’s fire that killed a 28-year-old Salvadorian immigrant has confessed to the neighborhood’s first murder in over two years.
Marco Tulio Flores, 17, of East Boston walked into District 7 police station the morning after firefighters found Jaime Galdamez, 28, inside 877 Saratoga Street following a one-alarm blaze and admitted to strangling him before setting him on fire.
Flores has been charged with murder in connection with Galdamez’s death last Monday morning.
In recommending that Flores be held pending trial, Assistant District Attorney Ian Polumbaum told East Boston District Court Judge Roberto Ronquillo, Jr., that investigators first learned of Galdamez’s death when Boston firefighters responded to 877 Saratoga St. shortly before 8:00 a.m. on Monday, May 23 for a fire in the basement of the two-family building.
Amid the smoke and flames, Polumbaum said, they found Galdamez on a bed. They pulled Galdamez out of the bedroom to a common area in the basement. One firefighter suffered a back injury pulling Galdamez out of the room.
“They discovered the body was that of a man,” the prosecutor told the court. “They discovered that he was dead. They discovered that he had been partially bound with duct tape.”
Firefighters notified Boston Police, who had also responded to the scene. When the fire was extinguished, police seized the building and later executed a search warrant. The man’s remains were transported to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, where an autopsy is ongoing, Polumbaum said.
“At about 1:30 a.m. this morning (Tuesday, May 24),” Polumbaum continued, “the defendant before you walked into the police station and said he was the person responsible.”
Homicide detectives gave Flores a careful and thorough Miranda warning, after which he gave an extensive statement, Polumbaum said.
Flores allegedly told police that he’d known the victim for “many years” and had gone with him to his bedroom on Sunday night. Flores allegedly described a confrontation there in which he duct-taped and strangled the victim.
“He said he doused the victim with a flammable liquid,” Polumbaum said, noting that a container of such a liquid was recovered at the scene.
Flores allegedly told investigators he then left the scene but returned later and set the fire.
“The victim was badly burned, as was the bed,” Polumbaum said.
Flores, who is held without bail, is represented by attorney James Budreau and will return to court on June 28.