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A 75-year-old Boca Raton woman has died after a delivery man struck her in the head with a wooden mallet and set her on fire, Boca Raton police announced Tuesday afternoon.

“Unfortunately, the victim succumbed to her injuries and has passed away,” Boca Raton police spokesman Mark Economou said in a statement. “We offer our sincere condolences to her family and loved ones.”

Jorge Luis Dupre Lachazo, 21, of Hialeah, was helping truck driver David Gonzalez deliver a washer and dryer to a home in the Colonnades at Glen Oaks neighborhood about 9 a.m. Monday, investigators said. They were working for JB Home Delivery, a company subcontracted by Best Buy.

Before the woman died, Best Buy CEO Corie Barry issued a statement Tuesday that said the company has suspended its relationship with JB Home Delivery and is working with police.

“We are profoundly sorry and offer our deepest sympathies to our customer and her family,” Barry wrote. “Out of respect for them, we have closed our Boca Raton store [Tuesday].”

The statement also said Best Buy would revisit its delivery and installation programs, and hire an independent security firm to review existing screening, auditing and safety procedures.

According to the arrest report, Gonzalez and Lachazo had just removed the old washer and dryer and installed the new appliances in the laundry room near the two-car garage.

Gonzalez, 48, went back to his JB Home Delivery truck to return several missed calls from the office. Lachazo remained inside the home to show the woman how to use the new appliances.

Minutes later, Gonzalez heard several screams and saw the garage door closing. He went into the house through the front door and saw the woman on the blood-stained floor near the laundry room and bathroom, the report said.

Lachazo was the only other person inside the house and Gonzalez told police his colleague was acting strange. He told Gonzalez they needed to leave. Gonzalez went outside to call his supervisor and then 911. Lachazo jumped in the truck and drove away, detectives said.

Police stopped the white box truck in the 7100 block of W. Glades Road. They said Lachazo was sweating and shaking. He was wearing short pants and the hairs on his lower legs were burnt and had ash on them. He was taken to Boca Raton Regional Hospital for treatment.

When investigators searched the house they found blood on the tile floor of the laundry room and burn marks on the washing machine and walls. There was charred debris and clothing on the floor and a strong chemical odor in the air.

A bloody wooden mallet was on the washing machine and glass wine bottle with blood and hair was on the floor. A pair of broken prescription glasses was between the washer and dryer, police said.

In the kitchen, a can of acetone was near the stove that was pulled away from the wall. Investigators later determined Lachazo’s fingerprints were on the can and its white plastic cap was on the laundry room floor.

During police questioning, Lachazo admitted to knocking the woman unconscious by hitting her on the left side of her head with the mallet. Then, he closed the garage door, got the acetone from the garage, and spread the chemical around the laundry room, but Lachazo said he didn’t know how it ignited.

Lachazo also admitted to recently using marijuana and cocaine, police said.
 

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Ripley

Better to be pissed off than pissed on
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Minutes later, Gonzalez heard several screams and saw the garage door closing

How many minutes— 45? 60? It took more than 5 to do that kind of damage.
 

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Satanica

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[....]
Police and fire crews responded to Evelyn Smith Udell's Boca Raton home on Monday morning where they found her unconscious on her laundry room floor with head injuries and severe burns to her body, according to the probable cause affidavit.

Suspect Jorge Luis Dupre Lachazo, 21, and another delivery man, David Gonzalez, installed the new equipment at Udell's house that morning, where she was the only person home, according to the probable cause affidavit.

Gonzalez went outside to return phone calls while Lachazo stayed inside to help answer the customer's questions, according to documents.


Gonzalez told police he heard screams and went back inside to find blood on the floor, authorities said. Gonzalez called 911 and Lachazo allegedly fled in the delivery truck, documents said.

After Lachazo was apprehended, he allegedly told investigators that he used a mallet to hit the 75-year-old on the side of her head, knocking her unconscious, according to the probable cause affidavit.

Lachazo allegedly admitted to taking a chemical from the garage and then dousing Udell and the room with it, sparking a fire, according to the probable cause affidavit.

Udell was hospitalized in extremely critical condition on Monday. She died on Tuesday, said Boca Raton police.

Lachazo was charged with attempted second-degree murder, arson and aggravated battery with a deadly weapon on a person over 65 years of age, police said. Amended charges are possible following Udell's death, police said.
[....]
The suspect worked for a company which was contracted to deliver the appliance for Best Buy, according to police.

"Beyond working with law enforcement in any way we can, we have suspended our relationship with the small, local company that was sub-contracted to deliver to the customer’s home," Best Buy CEO Corie Barry said in a statement.

"In the hours after we initially learned what happened, we immediately re-visited our delivery and installation programs and, in the coming days, will do two things: 1) ensure all our processes were followed and 2) work with our delivery partners to do anything more we can to help ensure that this type of tragedy will not happen again," Barry said. "Additionally, we are hiring an independent security firm to review our existing screening, audit and safety programs and share with us their assessment on how we can improve."

He is set to appear in court on Sept. 18. An attorney was not immediately listed.
 

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