Massachusetts

Prosecutors: Man Hid Dead Body of Missing Man Under Boxes on Porch

A Massachusetts man arrested in connection with the death of a man who had been missing since earlier this month has been held without bail.

Worcester resident Xavier Broughton, 32, has been charged with disinterment of a human body and misleading a police investigation.

Police responded to Broughton's family home on Valley Hill Drive Monday night, the same home where 27-year-old Justin Ramos was last seen on Jan. 9. Authorities said he was reportedly there for a party and went missing.

At his arraignment Tuesday, a prosecutor said Broughton lied to police about the body and eventually admitted Ramos died at his home. He then allegedly dragged the body to the enclosed back porch and covered it with cardboard boxes and paper bags.

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The criminal complaint against Broughton shows Ramos is believed to have overdosed on heroin at Broughton’s home before passing away.

"It became apparent to him that his friend Mr. Ramos was no longer alive, he panicked and he dragged him down the stairs by his legs, through the home, to the back porch where he left him," said Assistant District Attorney John Melander.

The prosecution said charges against Broughton could change depending on the medical examiner's findings on Ramos' death.

Police are still trying to gather surveillance video from the home.

Neighbors and family friends of both Ramos and Broughton are devastated by what allegedly happened. 

"I feel so bad, I really do because you know as I said there was never a time when he wasn’t here for me," said Broughton’s family friend Betsy Shapiro. 

"No mother should – or brother, or family should have to go through a tragedy like that where he was missing for several weeks and all along we knew that people at that house, at that party had to know what happened to him," said another family friend, who didn't want to use her name.

Broughton will appear in court again Wednesday for a dangerousness hearing. 

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