Police make arrest in strangling death of Worcester teacher’s aide

WORCESTER (WHDH) - Officials say an arrest has been made in connection with the death of a beloved teacher’s aide in Worcester.

That teacher’s aide, Sandra “Buffy” Hehir, 49, was found unresponsive in her home on Congress Street in early February. An autopsy determined the cause of death to be strangulation.

Police say an investigation led to a suspect, 55-year-old Jose Melendez. He has been charged with murder.

Melendez was arraigned in Worcester District Court on Monday and is being held without bail.

Worcester Schools Superintendent Maureen Binienda said she knew Hehir since she was 14 years old and later became her boss. Hehir worked as a teacher’s aide at a school in Worcester and school officials said they knew something was wrong when Hehir did not show up for work on Monday.

“When you think of Buffy you think of someone who was a great athlete and always bubbly, friendly,” said Binienda. “Just the fact that I know her and have known her for so long I think, how could this have happened?”

 

 

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