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Connecticut Man Allegedly Killed His Teen Nephew And Dumped His Body In A Lake

Police say there were multiple strange incidents with David Diaz-Perez and Nolvin Diaz before the murder.

By Sharon Lynn Pruitt
Man Allegedly Killed Nephew, Then Dumped Him In Lake

A Connecticut man was arrested this week after allegedly confessing to murdering his teenage nephew and then disposing of his body in a local lake.

David Diaz-Perez, 21, was arrested on Monday night in connection to the death of 17-year-old Nolvin Diaz, the Wallingford Police Department said in a news release. The teen had been reported missing the previous month, on April 25, having last been seen two days before, according to police.

Two kayakers discovered Diaz's body partially submerged in Community Lake on May 3, police said. The gruesome discovery prompted a homicide investigation, and divers scoured the lake for any clues related to Diaz's death, according to an earlier release.

Diaz was found with his belt tied around his neck, and the Medical Examiner's Office concluded that he died from sustaining blunt force injuries to his head, sharp injuries to his face, and ligature strangulation, authorities said. His death was ruled a homicide.

Detectives interviewed Diaz-Perez, who lived in the same house as Diaz, on Monday, and he admitted to killing his nephew on April 23 and returning to the scene of the crime on May 2 to dispose of the teen's body in the lake, according to police. During police interviews, Diaz-Perez is also alleged to have told authorities details related to the crime that were not publicly available, in addition to showing investigators exactly where the killing occurred. 

Diaz-Perez allegedly told police that Diaz asked him to meet at the lake on April 23, and then, upon his arrival, attacked him with a piece of wood, prompting Diaz-Perez to grab another piece of wood and strike back, according to an arrest warrant obtained by PEOPLE. Diaz-Perez allegedly claimed to have hit Diaz in the head and neck until he was unresponsive, and then left and returned home. He then said he went back on May 2 to the spot where they fought, where he found Diaz's body; he allegedly used an extension cord, garbage bag, and dirt to try and weigh the body down before using the victim's belt to drag the body into the lake, the warrant states.

Diaz and Diaz-Perez lived together with Diaz's aunt, Juana Perez-Diaz, and another unnamed adult, according to the Record-Journal. Their house was within walking distance to the lake where Diaz was killed.

Authorities have said a motive for the killing is unclear. They also stated that there were previous strange incidents involving Diaz and Diaz-Perez, including one occasion when Diaz-Perez allegedly asked Diaz how he would like to die, according to the Record-Journal.

Diaz moved to the U.S. from Guatemala around a year ago and worked at a local diner, according to the Record-Journal. Through the course of their investigation, police found that Diaz did not have very many friends and socialized primarily with his family members. His phone had also been turned off.

Perez-Diaz was arrested on a murder charge and held on a $2 million bond, police said in an earlier news release. Although he was scheduled to appear in New Haven Superior Court on Wednesday, it is unclear if he has entered a plea or if he has an attorney to speak on his behalf.