An arrest has been made in the case of the teenager whose decapitated body was found along the Merrimack River in Lawrence, Massachusetts.
At a press conference on Saturday, the Essex County District Attorney's Office confirmed 16 year old Mathew Borges was arrested and charged with first degree murder.
Friday night, police conducted a search of Borges' home and arrested him shortly after. The arraignment will be held Monday morning in Lawrence District Court where Borges will be tried as an adult.
Sixteen-year-old Lee Manuel Viloria-Paulino was last seen leaving his grandmothers on the evening of November 18.
Police were called to the Merrimack River at McCabe Court around 2:45 p.m. Thursday after a woman walking her dog found the body. The teen's head was found roughly 30 feet away from his body. For hours, crews in boats and on land searched for the victim's hands.
Viloria-Paulino's family said the teens both attended Lawrence High School together. They are also demanding answers from police because the case was first treated as a runway.
“Nothing you can do now can return our kid,” said grandmother Ivelisse Cornielle. “That’s my pain because since the beginning they were not paying attention to us maybe they could save him.”
Lawrence Mayor Daniel Rivera and Essex District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett have said there is not much they can say without jeopardizing the investigation except that it is not believed to be a random act.
Rivera said he does not know if the killing might have been connected to drug or gang activity and urged people not to believe everything they are reading about the incident on social media.