If you witness a crime, here’s what to do
After delivering appliances to a Boca Raton woman, a Hialeah deliveryman beat and burned her, police said.
At about 9:15 a.m. Monday, Boca Raton police and fire-rescue responded to a home in the Colonnade at Glen Oaks for a medical call, according to a police affidavit.
Paramedics found an unconscious elderly woman on her laundry room floor. She had blunt-force injuries to her head and severe burns to most of her body, police said. She was leaning against the washing machine and her “clothing was fully engulfed.”
The Palm Beach Post reported that the woman was 75-year-old Evelyn Smith Udell.
She was taken to Delray Medical Center as a trauma alert patient. Police announced Tuesday afternoon that she had died. They did not identify her.
“Unfortunately, the victim succumbed to her injuries and has passed away. We offer our sincere condolences to her family and loved ones,” police said in a Facebook post.
Boca Raton police officers encountered David Gonzalez, a driver for the delivery company JB Home Delivery, at the home. Police said he told them that he and his co-worker, 21-year-old Jorge Luis Dupre Lachazo, delivered a washer and dryer to the woman’s home for Best Buy.
After installing the appliances, Gonzalez went outside to make phone calls. Lachazo remained inside to talk with the woman about the new appliances. After hearing screams from the house, Gonzalez went inside and saw blood and the woman on the floor, police said.
Gonzalez went outside and called 911, while Lachazo got into the delivery truck and drove away. A responding Boca Raton police officer saw the truck leaving the neighborhood and stopped it.
The officer said that Lachazo was sweaty and shaking from nerves. The hairs on both his legs were burned and his skin was ashy.
Lachazo was taken to Boca Raton Regional Hospital.
During an interview, detectives say that Lachazo admitted that he struck the woman with a mallet and doused her with a liquid chemical. Then the chemical spontaneously combusted.
Police said he also admitted to using cocaine and marijuana earlier in the day.
Lachazo has been charged with first-degree murder, armed burglary with battery and arson.
Boca Raton police are asking that anyone who has information about this case call Detective Scott Hanley at 561-338-1344.
Before the woman had died, Best Buy CEO Corie Barry said in a statement that the company had suspended its ties with JB Home Delivery.
The statement also said Best Buy would revisit its delivery and installation programs, and hire an independent security firm to review existing screening, auditing and safety procedures.
A Florida Atlantic University spokeswoman said in a statement that Evelyn Udell was a longtime employee of FAU libraries.
“Evelyn worked at FAU from November 2003 until April 2018 as a cataloger in the technical services department,” the statement said. “Evelyn will be remembered as a kind, caring and hard-working member of the staff. The university is devastated to hear about Evelyn’s passing. We send our deepest condolences to her family, friends and former colleagues.”