Mass. congressman says DHS response to Dabrowski investigation ‘inadequate’

Mass. congressman says DHS response to Dabrowski investigation 'inadequate'

WORCESTER, Mass. — How did a man with an active warrant for his arrest get back into the United States and allegedly murder his ex-girlfriend?

As 25 Investigates has been reporting for months, that is a key question in the murder of a local woman, brutally stabbed inside a crowded Worcester restaurant in July.

It’s not just the family asking that question. Massachusetts Congressman Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Worcester) first sought answers from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security last fall.

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Now, after our 30-minute in-depth special, The Murder of Amanda Dabrowski, McGovern says their initial response was, “inadequate.”

"Somewhere, something went wrong," McGovern said in September 2019. "The system did not work in this case."

The case he’s referring to is the murder of Amanda Dabrowski.

Amanda was at O'Connor's Restaurant in July 2019 for a book club meeting. Police say Carlos Asencio, an ex-boyfriend she met at work, stabbed her 15-20 times in front of workers and patrons.

But as 25 Investigates has reported, police say Asencio had attacked Amanda once before. In April 2019, police say Asencio broke into her Ayer apartment, hit her with a stun gun, strangled her, and pointed a gun at her. Amanda fought off her attacker inside the apartment and ran to police.

Investigators issued a warrant for his arrest for attempted murder.

But Asencio, a U.S. citizen with a passport, was in Canada within hours of attack, where records show he boarded a flight to Mexico.

"Did he use his passport? Did he have a fake passport? How did he get back into the U.S.?" McGovern remarked in September.

In December, Homeland Security responded to those questions saying they can only assume Asencio bypassed all ports of entry.

“The [parents] deserve the truth,” McGovern said. “They deserve straight answers and we are going to push our government until we get those answers.”

On Friday, McGovern fired back, calling Homeland Security’s answer, “inadequate.”

He asked for the following:

  • What due diligence did Customs and Border Patrol do to determine Asencio entered 'illegally?'
  • Mcgovern wants to see Asencio’s passport record for the year leading up to the July 3, 2019 murder
  • And he asked whether Asencio traveled under an alias including, ‘Carlo Del Toro’

Boston 25 News has reached out to the Department of Homeland Security about McGovern’s follow-up questions. A spokesperson told Boston 25 News the agency would respond to that letter directly. He also pointed to the crisis at the border in his response.

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