WORCESTER, MASS. (WHDH) - A man accused of shooting and killing a woman inside a massage business in Worcester faced a judge on Monday in connection with the incident.
Investigators said the shooting happened on Thursday at the massage business on Pleasant Street. In court, prosecutors said surveillance cameras were ultimately crucial in identifying a suspect.
“There’s video surveillance out front that shows his vehicle pull up to the establishment around two o’clock in the morning,” said prosecutor Terry McLaughlin. “Then, [it] shows him enter the building.”
Worcester police on Thursday said officers first responded around 11:30 a.m. after receiving a report of a female “experiencing a possible medical issue.”
Officers rendered medical aid, according to police, until the unconscious female was pronounced dead.
Worcester police said the death “appear[ed] to be suspicious.” In an update on Friday, police said officers arrested 31-year-old Marcel Santos-Padgett of Leicester on an outstanding warrant as part of their investigation.
According to court documents, Santos-Padgett allegedly aimed a gun at the victim’s head and pulled the trigger.
McLaughlin continued to detail allegations on Monday, saying video surveillance from the business itself captured Santos-Padgett’s face on video.
“He meets the victim in question,” McLaughlin said. “They go into her work area for a half-hour where you can hear a gunshot.”
McLaughlin said Santos-Padgett is then seen leaving the room with a firearm.
“They are the only two people in the building,” he said.
McLaughlin said Santos-Padgett took off in the car parked in front of the business. Street cameras later detected the license plate and tracked the car, leading police to Santos-Padgett, according to McLaughlin.
The victim’s name had not been released as of Monday afternoon.
Nikki Bell-Pena, an advocate for exploited women, spoke to 7NEWS in the meantime.
“Those who are exploited are kind of very much pushed to the margins and often are not associated with families or friends and so, the fact that no one has come forward does not surprise me,” she said.
Bell-Pena said the location and time of this crime can lead to speculation. She continued her comments on Monday, saying “This was our community member.”
“This was our sister,” she said. “This was somebody that was known and loved by someone.”
As this case continues, there was a sign on the door of the massage business Monday, reading “We know almost nothing about the case.”
“Please contact the police officers for information and do not bother us,” the sign said.
Officials said Santos-Padgett is known by police, adding that he was on probation in connection with another case at the time of his arrest.
Santos-Padgett was being held without bail on Monday.
(Copyright (c) 2024 Sunbeam Television. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)