BOCA RATON (CBSMiami) — A Hialeah man remains in jail without bond, charged with beating an elderly woman and setting her on fire while he was on a delivery for a major appliance chain.
For the first time, we are listening to a 911 call that was made after the crime from the house and the victim’s daughter-in-law is speaking to CBS4 news.
Jorge Luis Dupre Lachazo, 21, is charged with murder, battery, and arson in the death of 75-year-old Evelyn Udell.
Investigators say Lachazo attacked Udell, a former Florida Atlantic University employee, in her home on Monday. She died from her injuries the next day.
Udell’s daughter-in-law, Sloane Udell, told CBS4’S Peter D’Oench, “She was a wonderful woman. She was completely dedicated to her family.”
Her voice broke as she said in a telephone interview, “She had innumerable friends, friends from her synagogue and her marjan group and friends from her synagogue. She had a lot friends up north in Philadelphia where she lived before moving here to Boca Raton.”
Sloane Udell said “Obviously she was the center of the family. She had 6 grandchildren and two sons and two daughters-in-law and a brother. This is an incredible loss for her family and friends.”
She said family members were planning a funeral service for Thursday.
Police say Lachazo and a co-worker were delivering a washer and dryer to her home in the Colonnade at Glen Oaks in Boca Raton.
While they were installing the appliances, Lachazo was left alone with Udell to give her instructions on how to use the new equipment, which she purchased from Best Buy, while his co-worker went outside to make a phone call.
According to the arrest affidavit, Lachazo hit her in the head with a wooden mallet and doused her body with a chemical from her garage.
After hearing screams from the house, the co-worker raced inside and found blood and the woman on the floor. As he called 911, Lachazo got into the delivery truck and drove away.
Delivery worker David Gonzalez told the 911 operator, “I need somebody. I need the police here. Somebody is hurt. I did the delivery to this house and then I heard a lot of screaming inside. I saw the lady on the floor.”
Gonzalez also told 911, “I tried to go inside (initially) but I couldn’t. The door was locked. When he (the suspect) comes out, I see the lady on the floor. I’m not sure if they had an argument and he hit her.”
He said he did not know what the co-worker hit the victim with because he was outside the home. The operator asked him if he was ok and he said while crying, “No I don’t know what to do.” Then he is heard to say “He’s escaping. He’s trying to escape. He is trying to escape with the truck but he doesn’t know how to drive.”
A responding Boca Raton police officer saw the truck leaving the neighborhood and stopped it.
During an interview, Police say Lachazo admitted to hitting her and dousing her with a liquid chemical. He also says he did cocaine and smoked marijuana earlier in the day.
Sloane Udell said “I am shocked. I mean this is shocking and incomprehensible.I don’t have words to describe the horror of what she went through.”
Police have not said what led to the attack.
D’Oench also spoke with Lachazo’s mother at their apartment in Hialeah. She said she did not want to go on camera but she said her son “is a model citizen and has not been in trouble before. I feel bad about what happened to that woman.”
A check of records show that Lachazo has not been arrested before.
Benjamin Jinks, who lives down the street said, “Nothing gets your attention like this so we’re going to be even more vigilant.”
Another resident said he wants the community to be gated. This way, visitors will know they’re being identified and registered once entering the community.
Udell was a mother, grandmother, and beloved member of her community.
Her family issued the following statement Tuesday night.
“Please respect our privacy at this time. We are not ready to speak about this tragedy. We wish to thank the Boca police department for their prompt and professional apprehension of the suspect. And we thank the Delray Medical Center for the excellent care they provided to our mother.”
FAU also issued the following statement:
“Evelyn worked at FAU from November 2003 until April 2018 as a cataloger in the technical services department. Evelyn will be remembered as a kind, caring and hard-working member of the staff.”
A private funeral service will be held Thursday.