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October 19, 2002

Investigation into woman's death continues

From: St. Augustine Record, FL
Oct. 19, 2002

Senior Writer

The small corner house at 419 Del Monte Ave. is empty of deputies and detectives, its fence still woven with a strip of tattered yellow crime scene tape.

That quiet, residential neighborhood is stunned, according to residents who have talked with The Record, after an unknown assailant on Wednesday killed 26-year-old Carmen Maria Reyes in her kitchen.

The cause of her death was still not released Friday by the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office.

But a funeral Mass for Reyes, a graduate of Florida School of the Deaf and the Blind, is scheduled for 10 a.m. Monday at San Sebastian Catholic Church.

She will be buried in St. Augustine Memorial Park.

Detectives from the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office's Violent Crime Unit, assisted by crime scene technicians from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, said Friday that they want to control any information about the crime that is released to the public in this case.

Sgt. Charles Mulligan, a spokesman for the Sheriff's Office, said the cause of Reyes' death won't be released until an arrest is made.

"When evidence is presented in court to a grand jury or trial jury, that information should be previously unknown to the jurors," Mulligan said. "And we won't speculate on a motive or release any information about the scene or the murder weapon this early in the process."

Mulligan said detectives avoid speculation and instead deal with facts and evidence only, hoping that will be enough to lead them to a suspect or suspects.

Any member of the public who knows information about this crime should call the Violent Crimes Unit at 824-8304, or leave a message on the anonymous tip line at 824-9099, he said.

"We have to take this case step by step," Mulligan said. "That methodical process begins at the time we arrive on the scene. At the end of this criminal investigation, we want to finalize it with a successful prosecution of the perpetrator."

© Copyright 2002 The St. Augustine Record and Morris Digital Works.