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Puerto Rico police investigating murder of family in luxury neighborhood

Last Updated on Tuesday, 18 November 2014, 20:47 by GxMedia

San Juan, Nov 18 (EFE).- Puerto Rican authorities are investigating the murders on Monday night of four people from the same family in their home in an exclusive neighborhood with on-site security on the outskirts of this capital.

The bodies of three adults – a retired military man, his wife and the mother of the latter, both Peruvians – were found inside the home in Gaynabo’s Los Frailes neighborhood, while the body of the couple’s 15-year-old son was found on a nearby road, police said.

Another son, 13, was wounded and thrown off a bridge, Puerto Rican police chief Jose Luis Caldero said, adding in remarks to reporters that the boy was found about three in the afternoon stunned and wandering in a portion of the nearby town of Bayamon.

“The incident began at a little after 9 p.m. Afterwards they took the two minors. They executed one on the road and when they were going to execute the other, the (gun) was empty. So, they wounded him with a knife and threw him off a bridge,” Caldero said.

The chief added that apparently the murderers “thought he was dead … (but) he was wounded and now he’s under the protection of the police. He alerted a person who was passing by the spot and afterwards the police.”

The neighborhood is protected by a fence that must be opened with a code that theoretically only the residents know.

“Wilma and I, just like the country, were saddened by the news of the violent deaths of four members of a family in Guaynabo,” said Puerto Rican Gov. Alejandro Garcia Padilla on Tuesday, referring to his wife.

Caldero said that authorities suspect that the multiple murder is linked to an eviction that had been ordered of a home the family had rented out.

One of those killed was Miguel Ortiz Diaz, a 66-year-old retired soldier who taught courses at the American Military Academy in Guaynabo.

The head of the Criminal Investigation Corps of Bayamon, Rafael Rosa, confirmed that police are questioning a young man who was at the home on the night of the killings and is considered to be a person “of interest” in the case, which is being handled by the FBI.

The island’s high murder rate has been one of its main problems in recent years. Although murders have declined from the high of 1,164 during 2011, this year so far it stands at 15 per 100,000 people per year, making Puerto Rico the No. 14 murder location in the world, with the vast majority of the killings being linked to drug trafficking and the settling of scores among criminal gangs.