By John Lynds
The two East Boston residents being held on charges that they were responsible for the vicious June murder of 19-year-old Blanca Lainez inside a garage on Princeton Street were officially indicted Monday.
According to District Attorney Daniel Conley, a Suffolk County grand jury returned indictments charging Jose Hernandez, 16, and Antonio Ramos-Oliva, 21, both of the East Boston with first-degree murder. Hernandez has been held without bail since his July 10 arrest and Ramos-Oliva since his arrest on Sept. 2.
Ramos-Oliva became the second suspect arrested in connection with Lainez’s murder. Hernandez was arrested by Boston Police in July at his home at 63 Marion Street after an extensive investigation into Lainez’s death. Surveillance camera footage, cell phone records and bloody palm print had led detectives to Hernandez.
According to the District Attorney’s Office, Ramos-Oliva’s arrest two months later was based on evidence including private surveillance video and fingerprint analysis developed since Lainez’ body was found in a Princeton Street garage on the morning of June 15.
Lainez body was found in a garage behind 54 Princeton St., 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.
Ramos-Oliva’s arrest comes after video footage shows the victim, Lainez, getting off a MBTA bus at the corner of Meridian and Saratoga Street on June 14. A few minutes later, Ramos-0liva is seen on video footage leaving his home on Saratoga Street. Lainez then enters a Liquor Store on Meridian and Saratoga with who authorities believe is Ramos-Oliva. The two then leave the liquor store and head towards Princeton Street. Ramos-Oliva is seen in the footage talking on his cell phone.
Around this time video picks up Hernandez walking towards the Princeton Street garage talking on his cell phone and for the next 22 minutes, according to the District Attorney’s office, neither men or Lainez is seen. Then at 8:56 p.m. investigators say video surveillance picks up Ramos-Oliva running along Marion Street from the area where the murder allegedly occurred. At the same time, Hernandez can be seen running towards his home on Marion Street.
Analysis of footage from multiple cameras suggests that these men 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.
A search warrant was executed at 63 Marion St. where Hernandez lived back in July. There, authorities found a two-tone hooded jacket consistent with the one seen on the video footage.
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 Hernandez’ prints when he was arrested with a large knife on Thursday, June 30.
Also the DA’s office said an analysis of Lainez’ cell phone showed “extensive contact” between Hernandez and the victim prior to her homicide and suggested “animosity” between the two. Hernandez had allegedly threatened her in the weeks prior to her death.
Hernandez is represented by attorney James Coviello and Ramos-Oliva by attorney Robert Griffin. They are expected to be arraigned in Suffolk Superior Court at a later date.