Rhode Island teen charged with killing mom’s boyfriend

Cranston police and the Rhode Island State Police crime lab investigate July 19, 2017, at a home on Edgewood Avenue in Cranston. (WPRI Photo)

CRANSTON, R.I. (WPRI) — A Cranston teenager was arrested Wednesday after police said he admitted to shooting and killing his mother’s boyfriend.

The 17-year-old is expected to be arraigned in family court Thursday on murder and other related charges.

The victim, identified by police as Valdez Loiseau, 24, was found deceased in Attleboro on Tuesday, his body burned at the edge of the woods off Prescott Street. A preliminary examination of the body revealed he had been shot.

Police said they learned Loiuseau lived with his girlfriend and her son at a home on Edgewood Avenue in Cranston. Cranston police and the Rhode Island State Police crime lab were seen investigating there throughout Wednesday, later confirming it was connected to the Attleboro homicide investigation.

News crews spotted investigators removing a smashed car from the house and then towed away a second vehicle a short time later. Evidence technicians wearing gloves and shoe coverings spent the morning going through the home. One of them was on the roof snapping pictures of a hole in the home’s siding.

The suspect’s mother, Melonie Perez, and his girlfriend, Samantha Rastella, are also charged in the case, according to police.

Melonie Perez (left) and Samantha Rastella (Photos Provided/Cranston, R.I., Police)

Police allege Perez and her son drove Loiseau’s body to Attleboro and set it on fire in an attempt to dispose of it.

While inside the home, police said they located a semi-automatic handgun and blood on the bottom of Perez’s shoes.

According to police, Perez and her son agreed to go to Cranston police headquarters for questioning. It was then police said the teenager admitted he shot Loiseau as a result of an altercation that reportedly occurred between Loiseau and Perez.

The teen was arrested and charged with first-degree murder, use of a firearm while committing a crime of violence and compounding or concealing a felony. He was remanded to the Rhode Island Training School.

Perez, 35, was charged with compounding or concealing a felony, failure to report a crime and vandalism. Police said she was arraigned Wednesday and released on $10,000 personal recognizance.

Rastella, 18, of Cranston, was also charged with compounding or concealing a felony and failure to report a crime. She was released on personal recognizance following her arraignment Wednesday, according to police.

Both women are due back in court Oct. 19.

Police said another 17-year-old male from Cranston is also facing a charge of possession of ammunition by a minor.

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