Grand Jury Indicts Suspect in East Haven Woman Slaying

A Milford man has been charged with murder.

A Rhode Island grand jury has indicted the man accused of brutally stabbing an East Haven woman in March and leaving her body in a drainage ditch near a beach in Rhode Island.

The victim, Antoinette Venditti Bruce, 35, was staying at the Residence Inn, at 325 West Main Road, in Middletown, Rhode Island, because she was temporarily assigned to the Christmas Tree Shop in the town.

It was in the parking lot of that hotel on March 29 that she was killed, police said, and Zachary Lepelusa, 24, of Milford, was indicted on Wednesday.

He and Bruce had worked together at one of the discount stores in Connecticut but there were work-related conflicts and Lepelusa was fired, according to Middletown, Rhode Island police.

Police found Bruce's body after Detective Walter Mey, of Middletown Police, saw a car parked in the Third Beach parking lot. But, as he went toward the vehicle, the man sped away, parked on Third Beach Road and ran toward the Norman Bird Sanctuary.

Police took Lepelusa into custody and arrested him.

Soon, police found Bruce's body in a drainage ditch off Hanging Rock Road, near Second Beach.

Lepelusa was charged with murder  kidnapping and eluding police.He is due in court in Newport, Rhode Island on Sept. 22.

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