MOUNT KISCO, N.Y. -- A Mount Kisco man has been arrested and charged in connection with the death of Jose Sanchez, Westchester County Department of Public Safety Commissioner George Longworth announced at a Tuesday press conference.
The suspect, identified as Freddy Coronado-Mendez, has been charged with first-degree manslaughter after being detained in Harrison, N.J., Longworth added.
Longworth said that Coronado-Mendez, who is in his early 30's, left the area by train after the death of Sanchez. The commissioner credited county police investigators, along with authorities in New Jersey, for tracking down Coronado-Mendez in what was roughly a 24-hour timeline.
“I can tell you that he was surprised when Westchester County police detectives found him there and took him into custody," Longworth said.
The commissioner said that Coronado-Mendez, who has multiple name variations, was twice deported to Guatemala and has a "lengthy criminal history," naming burglary and assault with a deadly weapon as examples.
Longworth acknowledged that there has been correspondence with federal immigration authorities but added that there has not been a hold requested for the suspect.
Sanchez, a 53-year-old man with not known address, was originally from Honduras and had relatives in the area, Longworth said. Sanchez's body, which was located in a wooded area off of Lieto Drive, was discovered by a relative, the commissioner recalled.
Longworth told reporters that Sanchez and Coronado-Mendez were in an altercation.
Longworth noted that Coronado-Mendez is currently in custody in New Jersey and Westchester authorities are seeking his extradition. He was arrested on a arrested in New Jersey on a warrant that charged him.
Sanchez and Coronado-Mendez knew each other from socializing in the wooded area, Longworth told a reporter. The location is known as a spot to gather and the victim's relative knew that he would go there, the commissioner explained.
There were witnesses present at the scene, Longworth told reporters.
The commissioner did not rule out charging more suspects.
Sanchez's body was located shortly before 8 p.m. on Sunday, Longworth previously said, adding that an autopsy determined his cause of death was homicide and that he sustained blunt-force trauma.
Longworth was joined by Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino and Mount Kisco Mayor Michael Cindrich, who each praised the quality and pace of the investigation.
“The amount of police work done in the last day and a half was truly extraordinary,” Astorino said.
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