Police are still trying to learn why a 15-year-old stabbed and cut the head off a 16-year-old classmate at Lawrence High School in Lawrence, Massachusetts, north of Boston. Lee Manuel Viloria-Paulino had been missing since November 18. His family says the police didn’t take seriously their claims that something bad happened to him, and said he probably just ran away from home. That is until a woman walking her dog found his headless body last Thursday. His head was found 50 feet away.
Though they allegedly dragged their feet when he was reported missing, police moved fast after his body was found. Sunday, they arrested 15-year-old Mathew Borges. The nature of the two boys’ relationship isn’t known at this time, though Viloria-Paulino’s family recall him coming to their house the week before Lee went missing. In the aftermath of the killing, Borges told an associate he had “done something bad,” and admitted stabbing and decapitating him. After his arrest, Borges told police he and Viloria-Paulino had gone to a secluded spot on the Merrimack River and smoked marijuana before he turned on his classmate and savagely attacked him. Viloria-Paulino's body was so badly mutilated, his autopsy took 11 hours.
Hundreds gathered Friday for a memorial in Lee Manuel Viloria-Paulino’s memory. Relatives of the dead teen showed up en masse Monday to Borges’ arraignment where the bushy-haired, doughy-faced killer pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder. According to Essex District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett, he will be tried as an adult. Lawrence Mayor Daniel Rivera has also indicated he is open to an investigation of the way police handled the case.