On 1/22/2013, District Attorney Mastroianni announced an arrest relative to a murder and aggravated rape that occurred on or about January 20, 1991. The victim was 90 years old at the time of the incident. She was found severely beaten with evidence that she had been sexually assaulted. She resided in an apartment in Springfield, which was part of an elderly housing complex maintained in that area.
An arrest was made on January 21, 2013, of Faustino Diaz, Jr. of Springfield. This person will be arraigned this morning in the Springfield District Court on the charges of aggravated rape and murder.
This was one in the group of cases that the District Attorney’s Office identified in an effort to select cases that may benefit from new technical scientific advances or forensic evidence that could be further developed.
For Springfield cases, the D.A.s office coordinated efforts with Commissioner Fitchett to have two detectives assigned to each case. The District Attorney identified and selected a small number of cases, through consultation with police detectives and the review of files. A prosecutor was assigned to work with two detectives in each case. As efforts in unsolved cases require significant time, the District Attorney’s office had the assigned detectives work primarily on overtime hours and paid the overtime from drug forfeiture and other D.A. funds as available. Agreements were made with the Commissioner with the understanding that the D.A.’s office would monitor the hours and specific investigative needs relative to each case. Budget cuts to the police department made police department funding unrealistic and not sustainable. This was an innovative and cooperative way to put available D.A. funds, including those from drug forfeiture, to good use in assisting law enforcement.
This program started last spring and Lt. Thomas Kennedy and Detective Anthony Pioggia from the Springfield Police Department were specifically assigned to this case. These detectives made significant investigative accomplishments which led to these developments in the case. The Massachusetts State Police Crime Lab and its DNA Unit were very involved and contributed to a large degree with the investigation.