WORCESTER – Police said a DNA match in the February death of a 49-year-old woman on Congress Street led them to a 54-year old Worcester man – now charged in the killing.
Sandra “Buffy” Hehir, a middle school instructional assistant in Worcester, was the victim of strangulation, according to police. She was found in an apartment at 8 Congress St. on Feb. 5.
The investigation led police to Jose Melendez, 54, a Worcester man with a long criminal record and several aliases.
According to the prosecution, DNA evidence collected at the scene of Ms. Hehir’s death was found to match a sample from an unsolved 2000 rape in Worcester.
Police returned to that case and re-examined suspects, one of whom was Mr. Melendez. Police arrested him at 297 Pleasant St., Apt. 3, on an outstanding warrant out of Lynn District Court, according to prosecutors.
He was questioned by police, and denied knowing Ms. Hehir and denied knowing anything about her death.
Mr. Melendez agreed to have a DNA sample taken, and that sample was a match to DNA evidence found at the scene of Ms. Hehir’s death, prosecutors said.
In addition to the case out of Lynn, Mr. Melendez has outstanding cases in New York and Florida. He is known by aliases Jose Segura and Jose Alvarado, prosecutors said.
Charges pending against Mr. Melendez in Central District Court include a heroin distribution charge dating back to 1997, and 2016 charges of marijuana possession, and giving a false name to a police officer, according to court records.
In Central District Court Monday morning, Mr. Melendez’…
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