Middlesex County

DA: Search underway for suspect who stole from Malden apartment where elderly man was found dead

MALDEN, Mass. — Authorities are searching for a suspect they say stole from a Malden apartment where an elderly man was found dead last Wednesday.

A warrant has been issued for 33-year-old Dion Smith, of Boston, on larceny charges, according to the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office.

Smith stole a piece of property from an apartment on Kennedy Drive where a deceased man was found, the DA’s office said. They have since located the stolen property but have been unable to find Smith. It wasn‘t immediately clear what was taken from the apartment.

The victim has been identified as 79-year-old Ronald Gilbert. His death is being investigated as suspicious based on preliminary information received from the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, the DA’s office noted.

Officers responding to Gilbert’s apartment building around 2 p.m. on Feb. 22 found Gilbert dead inside his second-floor unit and he appeared to have been there for some time, according to authorities.

Doug Bailey, the owner of the apartment building, said in a statement:

“We want to reassure residents and neighbors of the safety and security of our apartment complex in light of the recent incident and remind the public that it occurred more than a week ago. Our facilities have 24-hour in-person security and all doors and common access points require a fob entry system. There has been no breach or forced entry into any of our apartments or grounds. The suspect was not a resident of the community and was not known to us in any way. The focus of the story now should be on the family of the victim and locating the suspect.”

The manner of Gilbert’s death has not yet been determined.

Anyone with information about the incident or the whereabouts of Dion Smith is asked to call police.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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