Americas News

Court in Puerto Rico Dismisses Charges in Eight-Year-Old’s Death

Puerto Rico's Department of Justice charged a homeless man with the murder of an eight-year-old boy who was killed inside his own home six years ago

A controversial murder case involving an eight year old child, has ended with no clue as to who was responsible for his death, amid the Government’s intentions to solve the case from day one.

On Tuesday, a court of appeals in Bayamon (Western town, near San Juan), Puerto Rico told that the Government’s case against a homeless man, charged with the murder of Lorenzo Gonzalez-Cacho, didn’t have enough cause to stand a trial process, ending the Government’s efforts to bring justice to the family of the eight-year-old boy who was killed inside his own home six years ago.

According to prosecutors, the evidence against suspect Luis G. Rivera-Seijo, who is best known for the nick name “El Manco” in reference to being an arm-less person, was considered inconclusive and in most cases, did not place Rivera-Seijo inside the child’s residence in nearby resort town of Dorado.

Still, Rivera-Seijo provided a confession to FBI agents, who where investigating the case, that also called an Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE) agent as a suspect, along with the child’s mother, a relative and a former boyfriend of her (four of them where considered suspects, but the Government dismissed the allegations, when they arrested Rivera-Seijo and charged him with the alleged murder).

Last April, a lower court decided that the case against Rivera-Seijo lacked evidence to stand trial, after weeks of testimonials from the mother and Lorenzo’s oldest sister, who barely remembered seeing someone else at the house the night of the murder in 2010.

Lorenzo Gonzalez Cacho was killed in his home in Dorado on March 9, 2010. The arrest of Luis G. Rivera Seijo back in March, came as a surprise to many in Puerto Rico after investigators claimed for years there was evidence against the child’s mother, Ana Cacho.

It was the island’s own Department of Justice that accused the mother and four others of being suspects in the Lorenzo’s killing. However, the FBI, who also took part of the investigation at the request of the local prosecutors, was also investigating William Marrero, an ICE agent who was allegedly with Lorenzo’s mother on the evening of the child’s death.

According to investigators, Rivera Seijo was arrested for the attempted murder of another local man, Oscar Pacheco Garcia, a week before Lorenzo’s death. Garcia died from his injuries but correctional officers accidentally released Rivera Seijo from a holding facility in Arecibo.

What happened after Rivera Seijo’s release is at the center of the charges against him. Rivera Seijo claims he asked for a ride from the correctional facility in Arecibo to his home in San Juan but the driver could only take him to Dorado. The driver eventually dropped Rivera Seijo off in the residential neighborhood of Dorado Del Mar.

In 2010, Rivera Seijo told the FBI that he was dropped off at a Burger King restaurant in Dorado from where he went to Dorado Del Mar. He admitted to investigators that he entered Cacho’s home with the intention of burglarizing it. He said he found a knife in the kitchen and murdered Lorenzo when the child blocked his exit.

Ana Cacho, who was meeting with friends – including Marrero – has maintained that she was unaware of Rivera Seijo’s presence or the crime until she found her son laying in bed with his younger sister. He was pronounced dead on arrival at a local hospital.

The investigation stalled six years ago but was resurrected under the current government, which requested the FBI’s assistance. The Justice Department announced last year that Cacho and three other men were no longer considered suspects. With charges being filed against Rivera Seijo, Cacho may be able to file to regain custody of her two daughters who have lived with their father since 2010.

The Puerto Rico’s Justice Department made public a chronological investigation on the events that led to the formal charges against Rivera Seijo (Spanish).

Rivera Seijo’s attorney, Mario Moczo, has said his client is innocent. He is currently being held on $3 million bail.

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