2 R.I. men accused of killing pregnant woman found in pond days before Christmas
05/10/2023 1:32 pm PDT
COVENTRY, R.I. (TCD) -- Rhode Island State Police announced this week that investigators arrested two men in connection with the suspicious death of a pregnant woman who was found in a pond.
According to a news release, 35-year-old Gary Gromkiewicz and 46-year-old Michael Lambert were taken into custody on charges of murder and conspiracy to commit murder for the death of 34-year-old Leila Patricia Duarte Da Luz and her unborn child. Rhode Island State Police said Gromkiewicz was the child’s father.
Gromkiewicz was reportedly out on probation for a 2015 conviction for assault with a deadly weapon, while Lambert was on parole for a 1995 murder conviction. Lambert was reportedly previously taken into custody for violating his parole.
On Dec. 21, Rhode Island State Police responded to Carbuncle Pond in Coventry for a report of a woman "submerged" in the water. Detectives noticed the woman had suffered multiple lacerations to her head. The next day, the Rhode Island Medical Examiner’s Office determined the woman died by homicide and that she was pregnant. Da Luz was positively identified Dec. 27 when she was reported missing out of Brockton, Massachusetts.
State police executed 53 search warrants prior to Gromkiewicz and Lambert’s arrests.
WPRI-TV reports her cause of death was blunt force trauma and drowning. Officials reportedly believe she had been in the water for a few hours prior to a fisherman finding her body.
According to WPRI, Gromkiewicz and Da Luz had an on-and-off relationship, but she was reportedly wearing a wedding band at the time of her death. Gromkiewicz allegedly proposed to another woman three days later on Dec. 24.
Court records show both Lambert and Gromkiewicz are being held without bail.
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