JOHNSTON, R.I.—A man was charged with two counts of murder and kidnapping Monday following a weekend double homicide that touched off a search for a missing toddler.
Authorities believe Daniel Rodriguez broke into the home of Evelyn Burgos, 40, before shooting Burgos and her 25-year-old daughter, Vanessa Perez, and abducting Burgos’ 2-year-old son, Johnston Police Chief Richard S. Tamburini said Monday.
The toddler, Isaiah Perez, was found unharmed Sunday night after a police officer spotted him wandering through a Providence housing project. He is now in the care of state child welfare officials.
Rodriguez, who is either 27 or 28, was arraigned Monday on two counts of murder as well as burglary, kidnapping and gun charges. He was apprehended Sunday and is being held without bail.
Authorities said Rodriguez is Burgos’ boyfriend but not the boy’s father. Authorities issued a nationwide Amber Alert following the boy’s abduction.
Police arrested a second man, Malcolm Crowell, 22, in Fall River, Mass., but released him after determining he had no involvement in the crime. Crowell was Vanessa Perez’ boyfriend and attempted to help authorities find Isaiah Perez, Tamburini said.
“He’s not involved at all,” Tamburini said of Crowell.
Two other children were in the home at the time of the shooting, Tamburini said. One is the son of Burgos and the other is Vanessa Perez’s daughter. Officials said the two children were in the custody of the Department of Children, Youth and Families on Monday but would be released into the care of family members.
The victims’ bodies were discovered about 5:20 a.m. Sunday at a home in suburban Johnston, a town of 30,000 residents less than 10 miles from Providence.
The house where the bodies were found is in a quiet wooded neighborhood near a reservoir. The property was closed off with police tape and the Johnston police crime scene unit was there Monday morning.
Deputy Police Chief Daniel Parrillo said investigators believe the victims were killed between 4:30 a.m. and 5 a.m. Tamburini said five shots were fired.