Roberto Colon’s Boynton Beach house was the first place police officers went when investigating the disappearance of Maria Stella Gomez Mullet on Feb. 20. That’s where Gomez’s friends told police she was going when they last heard from her.
And that’s where police found her Friday, according to an arrest report that paints Colon as a homicidal loudmouth. Fingerprints identified the human remains in Colon’s backyard as Gomez.
The 66-year-old Colon, who had taunted detectives a week earlier with “Find the body, find the body,” has been charged with first-degree murder and two counts of misdemeanor marijuana possession.
Gomez had been living in Hialeah as a live-in caretaker of Colon’s mother. She was 44.
Arrangements and accusations
The last Gomez’s friends knew, she was driving up to Colon’s house, 152 SE 28th Ct., on Feb. 18. When police first spoke to Colon on Feb. 20, the arrest report says, he told them he’d married her as part of a deal: She gets U.S. citizenship and he gets a caretaker for his mother living with dementia in Hialeah, 60 miles from the house Colon’s owned since 2000.
Colon told police she stole thousands of dollars via fraud from his mother in just a couple of months. She’d been there two days earlier, the report says he admitted, but they argued and he fired her as his mother’s caregiver.
On Feb. 23, a friend of Gomez told detectives she’d talked to the caretaker as she drove to Colon’s home on Feb. 18. The friend said Gomez planned to leave the car, which Colon accused her of getting through defrauding his mother; a purse Colon’s mother had given her; and other things because she wanted a total break of relations from Colon.
The friend also said before the call ended, she heard Gomez say, “No, no, no, Roberto!” Subsequent calls went to voicemail.
Feb. 23 was also when a person found a bloody purse less than a mile from Colon’s house. Among the items inside: a broken white rosary necklace and crucifix. Both the purse and the crucifix were with Gomez in a photo a relative showed police. Friends and family said they talked with her daily and were sure something had happened to her.
That same day, the report says, Colon told detectives Gomez probably was in hiding to escape arrest for stealing from his mother.
Excuses, blood and a big mouth
When police showed up on Feb. 24 to talk to Colon, the report said, he said that during his argument with Gomez on Feb. 18, she dropped her phone after bumping into a wall. The phone hit the floor and the battery popped out. He left for a doctor’s appointment and, when he came back, she was gone and the car remained.
Colon allowed a search of his home, car and phone, and gave up DNA. Detectives said most of the text messages and call history on the phone had been wiped. Then, there was blood.
The blood on the door? Colon: It was probably his from being cut by the aluminum frame he installed in January.
The “large amount of blood splatter going from the floor, onto the wall, onto the window and even the ceiling” in his garage/workshop? Colon: He’d never noticed it before, but one of his dogs died there about five years ago. One of his remaining dogs bled from a medical problem about five months ago. The dog must have shaken himself, causing the blood splatter.
Police swabbed the blood and were back at Colon’s house on Feb. 26 with a search warrant. The blood had tested to be human blood.
The report said Colon verbally swaggered before the detectives, calling the garage/workshop his “abbatoir,” a place where animals are slaughtered. He told them Gomez was “swimming with the fishes.” He challenged them to “Find the body, find the body” and, as they left, sent them on their way with “well, at least you didn’t find a body at my house.”
A woman told detectives on Wednesday she’d heard a January argument during which Colon threatened to strangle Gomez and bury her in the backyard. She said he’d flat out said he’d like to do that after a January phone call.
When detectives returned on Friday, the arrest report said, they busted Colon for marijuana found during one of the earlier searches. They also came with a search warrant for the backyard.
The report said before Colon was taken to the police station, he was overheard telling a friend, “There’s one thing they can’t do, they can’t put — what’s his name? — Humpty Dumpty back together again” and “There’s really nothing that they can take from my house, you know? It’s no use to them in prosecution. Except parts and s---.”
The report says they found human remains that might be of considerable use — they had fingerprints. Those fingerprints were identified as belonging to Maria Stella Gomez Mullet.