South End man arraigned for 2014 murder

A South End man was arrested and arraigned Wednesday for the murder of a Roxbury man whose body was found inside a building in October, 2014.

Investigators were able to make a match to 21-year-old Victor Montes-Severino’s genetic profile from DNA collected at the crime scene, according to Suffolk County District Attorney Dan Conley.

On Oct. 10, 2014, around 9 p.m., firefighters responded to a fire at 104 Winthrop St. in Roxbury. After extinguishing the five-alarm fire, which displaced multiple people living in the home, firefighters found a man’s body inside the home.

An autopsy revealed that the victim, 69-year-old Santo Bernabel, died from multiple stab wounds. Bernabel, who according to his obituary was living in Roxbury at the time of his death, was originally from Bani, Dominican Republic.

Through their investigation, law enforcement officials identified Montes-Severino as a suspect in the case. According to the DA’s office, records from a GPS monitoring device Montes-Severino was wearing at the time reportedly refuted his alibi that he was not near the scene at the time of the murder.

Montes-Severino admitted himself to Boston Medical Center on the night of the fire with a laceration to his hand, which he claimed was the result of being mugged in Chinatown. A subsequent review of the GPS monitor he was wearing revealed that he was, in fact, in the area of Bernabel’s Winthrop Street residence.

DNA evidence also played a role in the investigation.

As the investigation continued, Boston Police criminalists uploaded biological material recovered at the scene to the state’s DNA database – to which Montes-Severino had submitted a sample following his conviction on a 2012 robbery.

Police arrested Montes-Severino on Wednesday, and he was arraigned in Roxbury District Court. A judge ordered Montes-Severino held without bail for the murder charge.

Montes-Severino is due back in court on March 4.

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