The husband of Veralicia Figueroa, the housekeeper who was killed alongside her employers in their DC mansion last week, has described the moment he went in vain to find his wife.
Bernardo Alfaro went to his wife’s place of work on Embassy Row last Thursday after she didn’t return home on Wednesday night and his calls went straight to voicemail.
After banging on the door with no answer, and calling her phone, he walked round to look through a back window.
At that moment, he received a call from homeowner Savvas Savopoulos, the 46-year-old CEO of American Iron Works, who said Veralicia had taken his wife Amy to hospital, and they would call him later.
It has since been revealed that all three, along with Savopoulos’ 10-year-old son Philip, were inside the house, tied up and being tortured. Hours later, the place was set alight.
The chilling details emerged hours before police arrested suspect Daron Wint, 34, as he was driving a sedan in Washington DC Thursday night.
‘I was knocking and knocking and ringing the bell, and I just had a feeling somebody was inside,’ Alfaro tearfully told ABC affiliate WJLA-TV.
‘I saw the two cars in the garage, the Porsche was on the street,’ he explained.
And when he went round to a back window, Savvas Savopoulos called him: ‘He said “I’m so sorry I meant to call you, Vera asked me to call you, she had to stay with my wife because she was feeling bad and she has to go to the hospital and asked Vera to go with her, I will call you when she is back.”
‘So I felt bad, so I went home and kept calling and calling. But nothing.’
Hours later homicide detectives were called to the property and it emerged Figueroa had been brutally murdered.
‘Her dream was just to raise her kids and give them the education that they need… and she did,’ he wept.
Figueroa and Alfaro met at a party in D.C. shortly after she moved to the U.S. to earn money for her children. They were planning to raise enough money to move back to El Salvador, were her two children from a previous relationship live.
Wint, a 34-year-old wannabe Marine, was named as the prime suspect in the grisly murders after his DNA was found on a discarded pizza crust at the scene.
At a press conference on Thursday, Metropolitan Police Department Chief Cathy Lanier said that Wint had worked for Savvas Savopoulos’ company, American Iron Works, Inc.
‘We do believe there is a connection with the suspect in the case through the business,’ she said. ‘This was not random.’
A former neighbor at the Lanham, Maryland apartment block where Wint rented a one-bedroom apartment until a year ago told Daily Mail Online that the suspect earned his living as a welder.
And the Marine Corps told Daily Mail Online that Wint joined Recruit Training in 2001, when he was 20 years old, but was dropped just five weeks later.
Wint’s girlfriend, who lives in Brooklyn, was picked up by authorities Thursday morning and claimed Wint told her that he was planning to surrender, CNN reported. Hours later, he was apprehended in DC.
It comes a week after Savopoulos, 46, his wife Amy, 47, their son Philip, 10, and their housekeeper Veralicia Figueroa, 57, were found dead after a blaze engulfed their $4.5 million property.
Authorities determined that all four had been murdered and that three had suffered blunt force trauma.
Police suspect they were tied up, doused in gasoline and tortured in an attempt to extort money from Mr Savopoulos, the head of the major industrial company.
Lanier would not comment on whether authorities have had any contact with Wint since the murders.
It came as new footage emerged of the Savopouloses before their murder. Inside Edition unearthed video of the two at an upscale wedding in Athens, Greece, in 2012, due to air in its Thursday and Friday episodes.
As police continued their hunt, Jarred Brooks, 31, a neighbor of the suspect’s father, said he spotted Wint ‘a day’ after the slayings sitting outside his father’s home.
Mr Brooks, who lives opposite 57-year-old Dennis Brooks in the DC suburb of Lanham, said: ‘I saw him just a couple of days ago – possibly just a day after it all happened.
‘I was in and out and I saw him just sitting on the steps for an hour or so. He was just being quiet.
‘He looked like he was just sitting and thinking. He had on a white-cut off shirt and black pants. He’s a big guy and he’s very strong.
‘To see him sitting there after everything that had happened, it’s very scary. I hope I never see him again.’
Mr Brooks added: ‘I don’t know him personally or what he does for a living. But his father is hard working. They are a good family. He doesn’t live here but he comes to visit often. He would come over in the summer and sit on the steps all day. This is a very quiet neighborhood.’
It is not clear whether he was connected to the Savopoulos family.
‘He’s very hostile,’ an unidentified family member told ABC News of the suspect. ‘He’s arrogant. He doesn’t listen.’
An arrest warrant, issued by DC Superior Court, charged Daron Wint with murder one while armed. Police were offering a $25,000 reward for information leading to his arrest and conviction.
Maryland court records show a person with his name was convicted in 2009 of second-degree assault and sentenced to 30 days in jail.
Read more: dailymail.co.uk