This is truly terrible.
Lee Manuel Viloria-Paulino (pictured above) had been missing since November 18 when a woman tragically discovered his mutilated body on Thursday.
The Lawrence, Massachusetts teen was found decapitated near the Merrimack River, and the Eagle Tribune reports his head was about 50 feet from his body.
Over the weekend, authorities arrested and charged the 16-year-old’s classmate, Mathew Borges, for allegedly murdering and decapitating the student.
While cops don’t yet have a motive, a police report obtained by the Boston Globe said Mathew had confessed to the crime to another witness, saying:
“A witness told investigators that Mathew told them he did something bad. Mathew then told him that he stabbed a kid and cut his head off.”
In fact, Essex District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett told reporters during a press conference on Saturday Lee had been mutilated so horribly that his autopsy took 11 hours.
He also opened up about the awful crime:
“This was a horrific, horrific murder. While it shook the community, we were completely and totally resolved to bring this matter to justice.”
Police say on the day Lee disappeared, two teenagers left his home just before 6 p.m. to go to the Merrimack River.
The student was reported missing by his family when he didn’t return home that night. But they believe the police didn’t try their hardest to find the boy, because cops initially assumed it was a runaway case.
On Monday, Mathew pleaded not guilty to the charges. PEOPLE learned the 15-year-old suspect will be held without bail and be tried as an adult.
He will appear in court on January 10 for a probable cause hearing.
Our hearts are with everyone affected by this terrible tragedy.
[Image via Lee Manuel Viloria-Paulino/Facebook.]