A man has been arrested after the body of a missing man was found buried in the basement of a home in Worcester, Massachusetts.
Police arrested 53-year-old Thomas Garon Tuesday. They say the body of 68-year-old Marcelino Mueces was found buried in a shallow grave in Garon's basement. The suspect was charged with disinterment of a body, identity theft, and misleading a police investigation.
Authorities said additional charges were possible.
In-depth news coverage of the Greater Boston Area.
On Feb. 19, Mueces was reported missing. A week later, on Feb. 26, police found his vehicle on Villanova Street. The vehicle was towed to the Worcester Police Department and processed by the Crime Scene Unit.
In the course of the investigation, detectives obtained a search warrant for 24 Penn Ave.
While executing that search warrant March 2, police discovered the remains of Mueces.
"If you ask for a dollar, he'd give you two," said Mueces' girlfriend, Yolanda Lopez.
Worcester Police Lt. Sean Murtha said Garon had allegedly cashed a check that Mueces had at the time he was killed. He had just been paid before disappearing, last seen leaving the supermarket where he worked.
"He would get his checks every week and bring it to my house and together we'd go and cash it," said Lopez. "And he never showed up to come to the bank."
Lopez's concern grew after his car was found abandoned a week after his disappearance.
"Every day that passed, we knew something bad was happening," she said. "But we always kept the hope that he would come home or that we would find him safe."
Neighbor Alaracelis Torres says he saw investigators going in and out of Garon's home for the past few days with evidence bags.
"They have not let anybody know what's going on," said Torres.
Murtha said Tuesday that authorities believe Mueces and Garon knew each other.
The Medical Examiner's Office performed an autopsy but the exact cause and manner of Mueces' death are still pending.
Garon is expected to appear in court Wednesday to face charges. It's unclear if he has an attorney.