On the evening of November 18, 2016, Matthew Borges invited classmate Lee Viloria-Paulino to join him on the banks of the Merrimack River in order to smoke some pot. It would be the last time Lee would be seen alive. He wouldn’t be spotted again until the morning of December 1st. A woman out walking her dog stumbled across Lee’s mutilated body.
According to reports, Viloria-Paulino was found decapitated and his forearms had been sawed off. Police were able to located his head near where the body was uncovered, but it is unclear if his forearms were ever found.
Tips began rolling into police several weeks later. A classmate of both Matthew’s and Lee’s said that Matthew told him that he had “done something bad” and proceeded to tell his classmate how he had stabbed Lee and decapitated him by the riverbank, before submerging him in the river.
Classmates of both of the boys at Lawrence High School located in Massachusetts are shocked by Matthew’s actions. Those who knew them say that they were friends, but Matthew had a restless streak and was prone to fighting. It’s been alleged that Matthew had a rough home life, which may have caused him to act out. In spite of his upbringing, he still managed to do fairly well in school and one classmate says that he would often help her in physics class, according to an article published in The Boston Herald.
It is still unclear what caused the disputed between the two boys. Matthew Borges has since pleaded not guilty to the charges. He has been denied bail.
Since the discovery of Lee’s body, the Lawrence, Massachusetts police have come under scrutiny for not taking the Viloria-Paulino family’s November 18th missing persons report seriously enough and city council has come under fire for using the boy’s murder as a political platform.
Police Chief James Fitzpatrick has defended his department, saying that they conducted the investigation the best they could given the information they had at the time. One city councilman has called for Fitzpatrick’s resignation, but it is believed by the mayor that this criticism may be politically charged, as this councilman is expected to announce his plans to run for mayor in the murder’s wake.