Deputies: Man confesses to 2023 murder of woman in Orlando; former suspect exonerated

A 28-year-old man has been arrested and charged with first-degree murder in connection with the 2023 stabbing death of a woman in Orlando.

On Monday, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office announced that a suspect, Luis Alfredo Narvaez, was arrested for the murder of 52-year-old Maria De Los Angeles Paulino.

On May 10, 2023, OCSO deputies responded to the 5400 block of Lee Ann Drive in reference to a woman being found unresponsive in a car. Upon arrival, deputies found Paulino’s deceased body inside the vehicle.

According to the sheriff’s office, Paulino had been stabbed 16 times. While deputies were on scene, a bystander informed them that a knife had been spotted in the grass near the crime scene. The knife was secured, and detectives determined that it had been used in the attack.

In September of 2023, detectives extracted data from the victim’s phone, which helped them piece together a timeline of events. According to call records, the victim received an incoming call at 3:11 a.m. on May 10, 2023, and an outgoing call was placed to that same number at 3:27 a.m. That phone number was associated with 29-year-old Yesnin Salvador Bonilla-Iscoa, according to OCSO.

Bonilla-Iscoa’s DNA was found on the handle of the murder weapon. Based on that DNA match and the phone activity, Bonilla-Iscoa was arrested in Texas on December 18, 2023.

The sheriff’s office stated that detectives traveled to Texas and interviewed Bonilla-Iscoa. He admitted to knowing the victim because “he and his roommates occasionally bought drugs from her.”

On the night of the murder, Bonilla-Iscoa claimed that he was at home and asleep when one of his roommates, Narvaez, entered the room. Narvaez allegedly asked to borrow a phone to call the victim in order to “buy some cocaine.” According to Bonilla-Iscoa’s statement to detectives, he went back to sleep and “did not know what happened after that.”

During the interview with detectives, Bonilla-Iscoa further advised that when he woke up and his roommates were ready to “buy cocaine from (the victim),” Narvaez informed them that the victim was “no longer available” because he had “killed (her).”

Bonilla-Iscoa later called the victim several times but was unable to reach her. When detectives confronted him about the DNA evidence on the murder weapon, he suggested that the knife must have come from his house.

On December 22, 2023, two other roommates of Bonilla-Iscoa corroborated his statement, and they confirmed that Narvaez had admitted to killing the victim, according to the sheriff’s office.

OCSO stated that Narvaez was located in north Florida on January 8, 2024, and he was arrested by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement on immigration-related charges. Detectives traveled to Baker County to interview Narvaez, and he initially claimed that he was “joking” when he told his roommates that he killed the victim.

On January 22, 2024, forensic testing confirmed that Narvaez’s DNA was a match to blood found in a variety of different areas within the victim’s vehicle, including the steering wheel, front driver’s seat, and window controls on the driver’s side, according to the sheriff’s office.

OCSO stated that when Narvaez was confronted with all the evidence, including the confirmed DNA match, he confessed to killing the victim.

The previous suspect, Bonilla-Iscoa, was exonerated, meaning that he no longer faces any charges in this case.  

Narvaez is currently being held at Orange County Jail, and he is being charged with first-degree murder with a weapon.

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