BOCA RATON, Fla. — A delivery man for Best Buy urged a 911 dispatcher to quickly send police to the home of a Boca Raton woman beaten and set afire in her laundry room, according to the recording released Wednesday by police.
David Gonzalez told the dispatcher he was outside when he heard screams coming from inside the house Monday morning.
“I heard a lot of screaming and I went inside,” he said. “The lady is on the floor.”
His fellow delivery person, Jorge Dupre Lachazo, 21, is accused of beating 75-year-old Evelyn Udell with a mallet, dousing her with a toxic chemical, and setting her on fire inside her Boca Raton home.
Police said the woman died from her injuries Tuesday afternoon.
According to an arrest report, police responded to a home in the Colonnades at Glen Oaks community, located on Northwest 49th Street, around 9:15 a.m. Monday.
Officers said they found the victim unconscious on the laundry room floor with injuries to her head and severe burns to a majority of her body.
“I don’t know what to do. What do I do?” Gonzalez tells the interpreter in Spanish. “He’s getting away. He got into the delivery truck and is trying to drive away but the vehicle keeps turning off because he can’t drive shift gear. He’s still in front of the house.”
The line went silent and then operator said the authorities are already there and the call ends.
Gonzales told police he and Lachazo delivered a washer and dryer to the victim's home as subcontractors for a delivery company contract by Best Buy.
After the appliances were installed, the witness said he went outside to return some phone calls, and Lachazo remained inside the home with the victim to acclimate her to the appliances and answer any questions.
Gonzales said he entered the home and noticed blood on laundry room floor, and the victim on the floor near the blood.
The witness told police "Lachazo was acting very strange," and said he had to leave. The witness said Lachazo got in the delivery truck and fled the scene.
According to an arrest report, officers stopped Lachazo in the 7100 block of West Glades Road. Police said "Lachazo was very sweaty and was shaking as if he was nervous."
The hair on his legs was burned and there were ashes on his legs, police said.
The arrest report stated officers found burn marks in the laundry room, along with a "strong odor of a chemical." In addition, "a wooded handled mallet was on top of the washing machine. Blood was observed on the mallet."
There was also a glass wine bottle on the floor, and long hair in dried blood on the bottle.
In the kitchen, police said the stove was pulled away from the wall, and a blue metal can of Acetone without a lid was on the counter. All the burners on the kitchen stove were turned on.
Detectives said Lachazo told them he was inside the victim's home showing her how to use her appliances. He admitted to hitting her on the head with the mallet and knocking her out.
Police said Lachazo claimed he then got a chemical from the garage.
"[Lachazo] made a physical motion with his hands indicating that he doused [the victim] and room with the chemical agent. He then made a motion with his hands that the chemical spontaneously combusted," the arrest report said.
Police said "Lachazo admitted to recently using cocaine, as well as marijuana through a vape." However, the motive of the crime remains unclear.
According to his arrest report, Lachazo's fingerprints were found on the can of Acetone.
Police said the victim suffered multiple skull and facial fractures, as well as severe brain bleeding and second and third-degree burns over the majority of her body.
Lachazo is facing charges of first-degree murder, first-degree arson and armed burglary with battery.
In court Tuesday, a judge denied Lachazo bond, and ordered him to not have any contact with the victim, her family, witnesses, or the business he worked for.
Best Buy contracts with delivery company JB Hunt, which in turn sub-contracted with XM Delivery of Miami. A Best Buy spokesperson confirmed to WPTV that the company still has a relationship with JB Hunt but indefinitely suspended its relationship with XM Delivery.
“We offer our deepest condolences to the family and friends of the woman whose life was senselessly lost following an August 19 delivery in Boca Raton," JB Hunt said in a statement. "The delivery service was provided by an independent, local company contracted through J.B. Hunt and did not involve any J.B. Hunt employees. We are working diligently to understand how this tragedy occurred and have suspended our relationship with this company at this time."
JB Hunt, according to its website, requires its drivers to be background screened.
In February, JB Hunt acquired another delivery company, Corey First Choice, and formed JB Final Delivery.
Best Buy closed its Boca Raton store Tuesday and Wednesday out of respect for the victim.
According to the Florida Atlantic University, Evelyn Udell worked at the school as a cataloger from November 2003 until April 2018.
The family of the victim released the following statement Tuesday evening through their attorney:
"Please respect our privacy at this time. We are not ready to speak about this tragedy. We wish to thank the Boca police department for their prompt and professional apprehension of the suspect. And we thank the Delray Medical Center for the excellent care they provided to our mother."