LAWRENCE, Mass. — A 16-year-old boy has been taken into custody in connection with the death of a Lawrence teen found decapitated near the Merrimack River this week, according to the Essex County District Attorney's Office.
Mathew Borges is facing a murder in the first degree charge for the death of Lee Manuel Viloria-Paulino, who had been missing since mid-November. Borges is being charged as an adult, said the District Attorney's office.
Borges was taken into custody Saturday morning, based on evidence found late Friday night.
"I will not speculate as to motive at this time, that would be wrong...I will not speculate if it was gang related," said Essex County DA Jonathan Blodgett Saturday morning.
Blodgett said he doesn't know the extent of the Borges or Viloria-Paulino's relationship, but believed they went to the same high school.
Before the District Attorney's news conference, in an emotional scene outside their home Saturday afternoon, the family of Viloria-Paulino said simply, "this community is not safe."
Paulino's grandmother, Ivelisse Corniel, surrounded by family members clutching each other, said what happened to him could happen to anyone.
"He was a nice boy, he was an excellent child," she said.
The family told reporters gathered outside their home Lawrence police treated Paulino's disappearance as though he had runaway, because he was Hispanic.
Blodgett said he had spoken with their family and his office was on the scene until 4 a.m. Saturday.
"We want to secure justice for the family," he said.
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