No Bail for Suspect in Teacher Aide's Murder

A man was held without bail Monday after facing a judge in connection to the murder of a Massachusetts teacher's aide back in February.

Jose Melendez, 55, was ordered arraigned on a murder charge for the strangulation death of 49-year-old Sandra Hehir.

A judge granted his attorney's motion that his face not be shown in court Monday.

Hehir's body was found on the floor of her apartment on Congress St. Sunday, February 5. A neighbor called police.

Investigators allege Melendez assaulted and beat Sandra Hehir, killing her. Investigators say his DNA was found at murder scene.

Initially police didn't know how she died. It was later determined she was strangled.

Hehir, also known as "Buffy", was a beloved middle school teacher's aide in Worcester. She was known as a very kind person, who was friendly and active.

"She was an amazing teacher," said Douglas Hill, a former student of Hehir. "She'd come in and was high-spirited. She'd make sure that you were happy."

"I think that was her way of giving back to kids," said the victim's nephew, Jim Greene. "She worked in one of the toughest schools in the city of Worcester."

Melendez was arrested March 15 on an unrelated warrant out of Lynn and two drug charges out of Worcester. He was being held at the Worcester County House of Correction when he was charged with murder in this case.

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