By John Lynds
A month after 16-year-old Carlos Villatoro-Nunez’s family reported him missing, his body was found near the Bennington Street entrance of Belle Isle Marsh on December 9, 2016. His murder was part of a string of brutal gang killings that left a half dozen teens in Eastie dead between 2015 and 2016.
On Monday, the second suspect in Villatoro-Nunez’s murder was arraigned in East Boston District Court after being apprehended last month by Homeland Security agents in Houston, Texas, and turned over to Massachusetts State Police detectives assigned to the Suffolk County Detective Unit and State Police Gang Unit.
Jorge Melgar Fuentes, 19, pleaded not guilty to First Degree Murder charges in connection with the stabbing death of Villatoro-Nunez. He was ordered held without bail.
Moris Javier Landaverde, 21, of East Boston was the first suspect to be indicted in connection with Villatoro-Nunez’s murder and is currently being held without bail after his arraignment on May 1 of this year.
According to Suffolk County District Attorney Dan Conley’s office, although Villatoro-Nunez’s body was badly decomposed and left out in the elements for nearly a month investigators believe he sustained at least 18 fatal stab wounds.
Witness statements, cell phone records, and physical evidence from the scene suggest that Fuentes and Landaverde undertook the homicide in the course of gang-related activity that were plaguing Eastie for nearly a year and that Villatoro-Nunez’s slaying was not random.
Because the area is state property maintained by the Department of Conservation and Recreation, the investigation into Villatoro-Nunez’s homicide was led by State Police detectives assigned to Conley’s office with the assistance of the State Police Gang Unit.
“Police and prosecutors worked patiently, methodically, and professionally over many months to reach this point,” said Conley. “But this is not the end of the case. That day will come only when we speak for a 16-year-old murder victim in a Suffolk County courtroom.”