A Massachusetts man accused of strangling his ex-girlfriend to death while their 4-year-old son watched was arrested in California nearly one year after the crime.
Emilio DeLarosa, now 33, from Lawrence, was wanted for the murder of 29-year-old Wanda Rosa, the mother of his son. He allegedly killed her inside her home on Tudor Street in Methuen on Sept. 12, 2016.
According to court papers, Rosa was in bed with her son by her side. The boy told police, "Daddy went crazy and choked mommy."
A grand jury indicted DeLarosa on the murder charge and a violation of an abuse prevention order in December. In February, he was added to Massachusetts' most wanted fugitives list.
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Massachusetts State Police worked with the U.S. Marshall's Service in Fresno, California, to help find Delarosa. He was arrested before 6:30 a.m. PDT Wednesday, according to the Essex County District Attorney's Office.
"I want to thank everyone involved in safely apprehending this defendant, most especially the Massachusetts State Police Violent Fugitive Apprehension Section. Their persistent pursuit of Mr. DeLarosa ensures that he will be held accountable for his heinous actions," DA Jonathan Blodgett said in a statement. "As the first anniversary of Ms. Rosa's death approaches, I hope that this arrest will give some measure of solace to her family and friends. While nothing can bring her back, we will seek justice on her behalf."
DeLarosa is expected to be arraigned on a fugitive from justice charge, then sent back to Massachusetts to stand trial in Rosa's murder.
At the time of the murder, Rosa had an active restraining order against Delarosa, who had recently been released from state prison. Delarosa had a prior history of domestic violence against her, including a 2014 conviction for attempted murder, kidnapping, assault and battery of a pregnant victim and aggravated assault and battery.
In addition to his previous domestic violence conviction, Delarosa has been convicted of assault on a police officer and resisting arrest. Police say he should be considered armed and dangerous. He has ties to Lawrence and Methuen in Massachusetts, as well as to New Hampshire and the Dominican Republic, according to police.