3 Charged With Murder of Man Found Under Deck - NECN
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3 Charged With Murder of Man Found Under Deck

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    3 Charged With Murder of Man Found Under Deck
    FILE

    Three people were charged with murder in connection with the discovery of a body under a newly poured cement slab beneath a deck in Rhode Island, officials said Tuesday.

    A grand jury indicted Steven Pietrowicz, 39, Michelle Morin, 40, and Corey Bickhardt, 34, on murder, assault, conspiracy and other charges, state Attorney General Peter Kilmartin's office said.

    Prosecutors say the suspects conspired to kill Domingo Ortiz, 60, of Worcester, Massachusetts, in May.

    He had been missing for almost a month when authorities found his body buried beneath several inches of cement at the Burrillville home shared by Pietrowicz and Morin. Investigators at the time said Ortiz knew the pair.

    The owner of a local gas station told police that there was something odd at the home: fresh cement poured under the deck after it already had been built.

    Lawyers for the two did not immediately return messages seeking comment. They are scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday.

    Bickhardt, of Sciota, Pennsylvania, was being held in Pennsylvania on unrelated charges and was not yet scheduled for an arraignment.

    The indictments were returned Oct. 1 but were not announced until Tuesday because authorities wanted to ensure they arrested a fourth person, according to Kilmartin spokeswoman Amy Kempe. That person was charged with failing to report a death, and she was arrested by Pennsylvania authorities, Kempe said.

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