Prosecutors believe a teenage boy killed an 18-year-old woman whose body was found among the planks of lumber piled at an East Boston construction site.
Jose Hernandez,15, was arraigned in East Boston Municipal Court on Monday, charged with the stabbing and beating death of 18-year-old Blanca Lainez, whose body was found by construction workers on June 15.
Hernandez, who did not appear in court, was denied bail.
Assistant District Attorney John Verner said the break in the case came on June 30, when Hernandez was arrested for carrying a 9.75-inch knife. Detectives took his fingerprints, and found a match from a between his prints and a palm print found at the murder scene.
Hernandez and the victim also had “extensive contact,” according to Verner. The defendant allegedly threatened Lainez in the weeks before her death in messages that were found on her phone.
Hernandez’s phone number was saved in Lainez’s phone as “Smiley,” a nickname of his, according to Verner.
Lainez’s body was found on 54 Princeton St. when construction workers discovered her bloody body between two two-by-fours, said Verner.
Surveillance video showed a man in a black hooded sweatshirt walking down Marion Street toward Princeton street around 8:15 p.m., just before Lainez stopped using her phone. The video also shows the hooded individual running back from Princeton Street to Marion Street, and putting something back in his pocket at about 9 p.m.
Detectives searched Hernandez’s Marion Street residence on Sunday, where they said they obtained a dark two-toned hoodie, consistent with the surveillance footage.
Both Hernandez and Lainez are originally from El Salvador.
Because he is a juvenile, Hernandez could serve between 15-25 years if convicted.
Hernandez’s attorney, James J. Coviello, said the prosecution is relying “extensively on a fingerprint,” and suggested that the print could have been left before or after the murder took place.
Outside of court, Coviello said he has not reviewed the messages allegedly sent between his client and the victim, but said that for now Hernandez is, “pretty calm.”
“He’s holding up well,” Coviello.