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Two people have been taken into custody in connection to the murder of a teenage boy in Connecticut whose family says was lured away from home via Snapchat.
The victim, 14-year-old Jose Nunez, was first reported missing on the morning of July 28, the Bridgeport Police Department said during a recent press conference. Shortly afterward, investigators received a tip that a murder had taken place and that the victim’s body had been “dumped” in another location, authorities said; the following day, police recovered Nunez’s body in the Oxford area.
During the course of their investigation, police focused attention on person of interest, later identified as Diante Willoughby; he was seen at the same location where Nunez’s body was found, authorities said. Police arrested Willoughby, 20, on Wednesday, and during a subsequent interview with detectives, he allegedly admitted to being involved in Nunez’s death. He has since been charged with murder.
A second suspect, an unnamed 14-year-old boy, has also turned himself in to police and allegedly admitted that he was involved in Nunez’s death, Fox 61 reports. He has been charged with murder and conspiracy to commit murder, according to the outlet.
Willoughby and Nunez knew each other for “several months,” but the events directly leading to the boy's death remain unclear, police said.
Nunez’s father, Higinio Campos, said during last week’s press conference that parents need to be aware of the dangers of social media.
“I just want to make it clear to all parents: please take care of your kids with the phones,” he said, adding later, “Still, this man, these people were able to get to him through Snapchat and lure him in, lure him right out of my house. I woke up with my door wide open, woke up five in the morning, my door wide open, my son missing.”
“I knew something was wrong,” he said. He added later, “The guy was tricking him the whole time. Older guys can easily manipulate children. Take care of your children, please."
He went on to say that he believes that his son’s death could have possibly been prevented if the process of searching for a missing child had moved along more quickly. He said that after telling police that he believed his son was with a certain person, he had to wait even longer before authorities were able to check it out.
Key details of the case remain unclear, although police confirmed last week that an autopsy concluded that Nunez’s death was a homicide.
“The case is still very active,” Bridgeport Police Capt. Brian Fitzgerald said. “We have a lot of additional work to do to build a timeline on the events of what happened, and we’re going to continue to do that in the coming days and weeks.”
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