SOUTH BOSTON, Mass. (WHDH) — South Boston residents vented their frustration at the murder of Amy Lord and the attack of two other women in a 24-hour period.

“It hits close to home…I work right up the street and this town has always been a really safe place for us to walk around and all of the sudden we have this story — it’s really sad to think about that it happened in our community,” said Lindsay Nelson, who works in South Boston.

Lord was kidnapped last Tuesday and forced to withdraw money from five ATMs in the Boston area before being killed. Her body was found at the Stony Brook Reservation in Hyde Park that afternoon.

City leaders held a community meeting to discuss public safety with hope that it will ease fears and reassure young women that they are safe.

State Representative Nick Collins said he feels police should have let residents know sooner about Lord’s death and the two other assaults on young women, which all happened within hours and blocks of each other.

“I think something we’ve been hearing about is looking for more police on the beat and a sustainable effort there,” said Collins.

Edwin Alemany, who is currently in custody, is a person of interest in Lord’s death. He was arrested for the two other assaults in South Boston. Investigators are waiting for DNA evidence to be analyzed before tying him to Lord’s death. But Police Commissioner Ed Davis said an arrest in the case may be coming soon.

“We are close,” he said. “[We] have to be satisfied we have the right person.”

Police and the District Attorney said Alemany remains locked up and isn’t getting out anytime soon. But many, including Davis, feel Alemany should have already been arrested. Another woman was attacked in September 2012 and Commissioner Ed Davis said there was probable cause to arrest Alemany in that attack, but he was never charged. Davis announced the detective who may have dropped the ball on an earlier attack has been demoted from detective to patrolman, but hasn’t been fired.

Superintendant William Evans lives in South Boston and he told people to stay watchful but not fearful.

“I just want to settle everyone down to say South Boston is still one of the safest neighborhoods around. We’re doing real well and let’s keep it that way,” he said.

But some women said they are still afraid to walk along at night.

“They’re really scared — scared to come out on the 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. shift and go to their cars and it really has brought a fear to South Boston that they’ve never had,” said Anne Russell, who says her co-workers are afraid to walk outside.

Davis announced the formation of a South Boston drug unit to continue to keep the neighborhood safe. He pointed out the death of Amy Lord and the other attacks had nothing to do with drugs, but so much other crime in the area does, so anything they can do to keep crime down is a step in the right direction.

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