A 28-year-old man with a history of violence who allegedly went on a rampage against three women last week is facing a murder charge in the slaying of one of them, Amy E. Lord, a young woman from a small town who was beginning her career in Boston, authorities said today.
The charge against Edwin J. Alemany for the murder of Lord, which rocked the South Boston neighborhood, was announced today by Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley and other officials at a news conference.
“We are very happy and hopeful that we can bring justice to the Lord family,” Boston Police Commissioner Edward F. Davis said.
Lord, 24, was abducted on the morning of July 23 as she left her Dorchester Street residence in South Boston. She was driven to five ATMs to withdraw cash, then stabbed to death before her body was dumped in a Hyde Park reservation, authorities have said.
Alemany, a Boston resident, was already facing charges relating to two other attacks of women in the same area during the same time frame, and had been described as a “person of interest” in the Lord case by authorities, who said they were waiting for forensic testing results before charging him. A law enforcement official familiar with the investigation said DNA testing had linked Alemany to the crime.
Conley said today he had authorized a warrant charging Alemany with murder and that the charge would issue from West Roxbury District Court this afternoon. He said an arrest warrant would be issued and lodged at the Bridgewater State Hospital, where Alemany is undergoing a mental examination. Prosecutors would present further evidence to a Suffolk County grand jury, he said.
The evidence presented to the grand jury would include DNA evidence, Conley said.
Conley said he spoke to the Lord family this morning to notify them personally and “they were relieved to learn of this development.”
He said he assured Lord’s mother that “we will not rest until justice is done.”
But he also cautioned, “We still have a great deal of work to do. This is an extremely complex case.”
Lord, a Bentley University graduate from the town of Wilbraham, was working at a digital marketing and Web design firm.
Alemany has faced more than 30 criminal charges since his 18th birthday. Alemany’s arraignment in charges stemming from the other two attacks has been postponed. A judge ordered him to first undergo a 20-day hospital evaluation. His lawyer and a psychiatrist who spoke to him described Alemany as suicidal and incoherent.
Conley said Alemany would be arraigned on the murder charge, too, after his evaluation is complete.
He said Lord was a “small-town girl, but she came to love Boston” and praised her grieving family as “people of extraordinary grace and dignity.”
Asked about the progress in the Lord case, Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino said the most important thing was “to make sure that the judicial system does its thing and this individual does not see the light of day.”
Questions have been raised about whether the attack by Alemany could have been prevented. A Boston police detective has been demoted for his handling of another case against Alemany in September in which Alemany attacked a woman but was not charged.
Davis, the commissioner, said that the police internal affairs division was probing all the cases handled by the detective, Jerome Hall-Brewster. He also said he wanted to see what Hall-Brewster’s superiors, who are on vacation, tell the internal investigators when they return.
The Globe reported Wednesday that Hall-Brewster had failed to return calls and e-mails from the crime lab testing evidence in that case. The victim in that case was choked into unconsciousness but was found holding a wallet containing Alemany’s identification card.
In another development in the case today, more than a dozen investigators clad in white protective suits combed the area in Hyde Park’s Stony Brook Reservation near where Lord’s body was found.
Conley also used the news conference at his downtown Boston office to appeal for the public’s help in solving another homicide, the slaying of a 19-year-old man Wednesday near Northeastern University.
Conley said the young man, who was shot to death, was the victim of an apparent robbery.
“His death, too, is an unimaginable tragedy,” he said. “His case deserves the same outpouring of public support that we received in Amy’s case.”
Mobile users unable to see the video, click here.Mark Arsenault and John R. Ellement of the Globe staff contributed to this report.