By John Lynds
The 16-year-old boy arraigned on Monday in the murder of 18-year-old Blanca Lainez allegedly had ‘extensive’ contact with the victim prior to her murder according to investigators.
The East Boston youth was taken into custody by Boston Police Sunday morning at his home after an extensive investigation into Lainez’s death. Surveillance camera footage, cell phone records and bloody palm print had led detectives to the youth.
“This arrest is evidence of our commitment to justice for the victims and survivors of homicide,” said Boston Police Commissioner William Evans. “I want to commend the efforts of my detectives and all those who worked tirelessly during this investigation. I pray that this arrest brings some level of comfort to the family.”
On Monday, the youth was arraigned in East Boston Municipal Court with one count of murder. According to the District Attorney’s Office, under Massachusetts law, all juveniles over the age of 14 accused of murder are charged as adults.
Lainez’s body was found in a garage behind 54 Princeton Street, a home that is currently under construction, on Wednesday, June 15. She had been beaten and stabbed according to Assistant Suffolk County District Attorney John Verner of the DA’s Homicide Unit.
During the arraignment Monday, Verner said video evidence from cameras in the area show a male wearing a hood exit a residence at on Marion St. and make his way to Princeton Street at about 8:15 p.m. on Tuesday, June 14–moments before the last outgoing activity on Lainez’ cell phone. The video also shows him running back from Princeton Street to Marion Street and allegedly putting something in his pocket at about 9:00 p.m. that night.
Analysis of footage from multiple cameras suggests that this male traveled to a portion of Princeton Street between 40 Princeton St. and the Marion Street intersection – a portion that includes 54 Princeton St., according to the DA’s office.
According to the DA’s office a person going to or from the garage in which Lainez’ body was found would have to travel between the studs of an unfinished wall of the garage. During the investigation, the examination of that area led to the recovery of a palm print that tested presumptively positive for blood – and that also matched the youth’s prints when he was arrested on Thursday, June 30.
Also the DA’s office said an analysis of Lainez’ cell phone showed “extensive contact” between the youth and the victim prior to her homicide and suggested “animosity” between the two.
“This is a very sad situation, and my heart goes out to the family and friends of the victim,” said Mayor Martin Walsh. “I commend the Boston Police Department for their dedicated and rapid work to identify the suspect. I thank all the officials involved for their work in this ongoing investigation.”
City Councilor Sal LaMattina said “I am thankful to our law enforcement officials for their hard work in making this swift arrest. I hope that this can bring some closure and comfort to the victim’s family and that justice will be served. My thoughts and prayers are with them during this time of mourning”.
The case will return to court on July 20.
District Attorney Daniel Conley praised the work of investigators involved in this case but appealed to the public for their continued assistance moving forward.
“This arrest reflects a nonstop investigation into a crime of brutal violence,” said District Attorney Dan Conley. “But that investigation is still very active, and we urge anyone with additional information to share it with police and prosecutors. Every tip, however small, brings us closer to finding justice for Blanca and her loved ones.”
The Boston Police Department continues to actively review the facts and circumstances surrounding this incident. Anyone with information is strongly urged to contact Boston Police Homicide Detectives at (617) 343-4470.
Community members wishing to assist this investigation anonymously can do so by calling the CrimeStoppers Tip Line at 1 (800) 494-TIPS or by texting the word ‘TIP’ to CRIME (27463). The Boston Police Department will stringently guard and protect the identities of all those who wish to help this investigation in an anonymous manner.