A suspect has been arrested in the murders of West Brookfield mother Sara Bermudez and her three children earlier this year.
Matthew Locke, 32, of Ware, was arraigned Wednesday in East Brookfield District Court on four counts of murder. He pleaded not guilty and was ordered held without bail, according to 7News.
“The investigation is very complex and remains active,” Worcester District Attorney Joseph Early said during a press conference earlier in the day.
The prosecutor said DNA and other evidence led to the murder charges being brought against the 32-year-old.
Locke previously had already been charged with lying to police investigating the murders. According to The Boston Globe, the misleading statements from the Ware resident, who is a cousin of Bermudez’s husband, Moses Bermudez, included misstating the last time he visited the family’s West Brookfield home.
The bodies of the mother and her young children, Madison Bermudez, 8, James Bermudez, 6, and Michael Bermudez, 2, were found inside their home at 10 Old Warren Road on March 1 by a family member who called 911. All four of the victims suffered from stab wounds, according to the DA’s office, and responding police officers found that a fire at the scene had apparently self-extinguished.
Moses Bermudez was out of state when his family was killed, working in California. On Wednesday authorities confirmed they were not looking at the husband and father in connection to the killings.
West Brookfield Police Chief C. Thomas O’Donnell said an “astronomical amount of work” went in to making the arrest.
“I think it is a big relief that finally we’ve brought some closure to the case,” he said. “It’s still not closed, we still have work to do.”
Moses Bermudez told CBS Boston his first reaction to his cousin’s arrest was relief to have someone under arrest for the murders of his family.
“I think about my wife and kids,” he said. “That’s the most important thing to me. I want justice to be served.”
Bermudez told reporters that authorities have not shared a motive for the murders with him.
“Why would he come and kill my family? Was there something else involved? I don’t know,” he said. “Only the police know. When this case unfolds, we’re all going to find out.”
Authorities said Wednesday the investigation remains ongoing and asked anyone with information about Locke to contact state or West Brookfield police.