Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Police officer, Victor Diaz, kills ex-girlfriend in her own home

Daniela Altimari:

Victor Diaz

Ciara McDermott had no idea her estranged boyfriend, Victor Diaz, had slipped into her house while she was at work Monday afternoon.

McDermott, a Newington police officer, left work at 3:30 p.m., went home and sat down on her couch.

She turned on her laptop computer to check her e-mail at 4:15 p.m. Within a minute, she was dead. Police said Diaz, a suspended state trooper, shot her three times before eventually turning his .40-caliber Glock handgun on himself.

"She was surprised," West Hartford Police Chief James Strillacci said Wednesday at a press conference to brief reporters on the status of the investigation into the murder-suicide. "Ambush is a very good term."

Investigators are continuing to weave a narrative of the crime, using phone and computer records to devise a timeline.

Police said Diaz, 37, may have been inside McDermott's house for several hours before she arrived home. They do not know how he entered - there was no sign of forced entry. After he entered her home, Diaz got access to McDermott's e-mail using her laptop computer at 1:15 p.m., according to an examination of the computer evidence, Strillacci said.

A witness reported seeing Diaz's car at Wolcott Park, about a mile from McDermott's Ridgewood Road home, sometime between 12:30 and 1 p.m. Monday. Police believe he left his car at the park and made the 15-minute walk to her house in order to surprise her.

Diaz, who was serving a 60-day suspension after his arrest in March on drunken driving and other charges, had been making harassing phone calls to McDermott. He was also accused of asking a friend to use a state police database to look up the license plate of a car parked in McDermott's driveway. He learned that the car belonged to McDermott's new boyfriend, West Hartford police Officer James DeLuca.

Diaz had been scheduled to surrender to West Hartford police on Monday and was going to be the subject of an administrative investigation by state police.

Instead of turning himself in at the West Hartford police station, he went to McDermott's house, police said.

After shooting McDermott, Diaz called his attorney, Jeffrey Ment, at 4:21 p.m., using McDermott's phone. He left a voicemail saying his plans had changed. Sources said he may have made several other calls to friends and acquaintances as well.

Ment, who spent the afternoon in court, retrieved the message at 5:40 p.m. and, sensing danger, immediately dialed West Hartford police and the Troop H state police barracks in Hartford, where Diaz worked, and advised them to check on McDermott.

As Ment was calling, DeLuca was heading to McDermott's house. He found her slumped over the laptop.

Police later discovered Diaz's body in a room upstairs. He had shot himself in the head.

"Obviously there's no prosecution in this case. Somebody else is going to judge him," Strillacci said. "We still want to know what happened."

A Life Of Devotion Lost To All

Shock, Unanswered Questions

Change Of Plans

A Trooper's Rage

Diaz was arrested for DUI

Police: Diaz ambushed McDermott


At 12:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"We still want to know what happened."

Probably affirmative action is what happened.

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