The discovery of a dead man found in a shallow grave in the basement of a Worcester apartment earlier this year has now resulted in a 54-year-old man facing a murder charge in the case.
Thomas Garon Jr., the man who originally faced charges of disinterment of a body, identity theft and misleading police in connection with the death of Marcelino Mueces, was indicted by a Worcester County grand jury Thursday on murder and other charges.
The Worcester District Attorney’s Office said Garon will, at a later date, be arraigned in Worcester Superior Court on the murder charge along with charges of conveying a human body or remains, marijuana possession with intent to distribute, misleading police, larceny under $1,200 and larceny of a motor vehicle.
Garon remains in custody on bail after his original arraignment earlier this year in Worcester District Court.
Mueces, 68, was reported missing on Feb. 19 before his body was discovered March 2 in the basement of 24 Penn Ave. in Worcester.
Garon lives at 24 Penn Ave. Police searched his apartment and found a crumpled up missing person flyer for Mueces inside, according to search warrants filed in court.
“While searching the first-floor apartment which is the apartment of Thomas Garon, detectives observed a crumpled-up piece of paper which was a missing person flyer for Marcelino Mueces,” police said in the search warrant affidavits. “These flyers were put in numerous neighborhoods by Mueces’ family.”
It was Yolanda Lopez, Mueces’ partner, who placed the missing person flyer on Penn Avenue while she searched for him.
Garon, she told police, was the person who ripped down the flyer and yelled at her and told her to leave, the search warrant affidavits said.
Authorities recovered evidence from Mueces’s vehicle and Garon’s apartment, records show.
Lopez reported Mueces missing on Feb. 19. The father and grandfather was last spotted leaving his work on Main Street the day before.
Family began putting up missing person flyers. Worcester police put out an alert on Feb. 21 as well. Mueces’s phone had been shut off on Feb. 18.
Lopez saw Mueces’s gray 2005 Ford F150 on Feb. 26. She learned it was parked on Villa Nova Street.
Authorities say Garon was seen driving the truck, however.
Garon, according to court records, told police he moved the truck because Mueces would not be back. The truck was originally in front of Garon’s home.
During the investigation, Garon spoke to detectives on Feb. 28. He knew Mueces. Garon admitted he bought heroin from him, records said.
Garon insisted Mueces had never been inside Penn Avenue, but investigators noted that Garon’s story changed repeatedly.
Garon admitted to seeing Mueces on Feb. 18, records show. He wanted to buy heroin from Mueces. Lopez told police she knew Mueces was selling drugs, records show.
Police had a cadaver dog check the Penn Avenue home during the investigation. The presence of human remains was detected, the search warrant affidavits said.
The dog, according to court records, also detected the scent of human remains in Mueces’ truck.
Crime Scene Unit investigators for Worcester police discovered blood spatter had been cleaned from inside the truck, authorities said.
On March 2, investigators located a “shallow grave in the basement area which contained human remains. Subsequently a human body was uncovered and positively identified via fingerprints as Marcelino Mueces.”
That same day, police got an arrest warrant for Garon on the original charges.
Records show Mueces had a head injury and injuries consistent with being attacked.
Investigators also accuse Garon of taking Mueces’s paycheck and cashing it on Feb. 26.
Blood evidence, a pickax, rake, shovel and other items were retrieved from the Penn Avenue apartment building, search warrant affidavits said.
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