Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Man sentenced to life for murder of teenager

March 29, 2008


-A Polk County man convicted of strangling a teenage girl and burying her in his family's backyard nine years ago was sentenced to life in prison Friday.

APolk County jury recommended Edward Romeo, 30, spend life in prison for killing Racheal Martina, 16, in 1999.

Polk County detectives have said Romeo choked Racheal to death with an intricate rope-knot in his family's kitchen and then buried her.

Investigators said Romeo later unearthed the body, cut off the girl's head and soaked it in bleach before using pliers to pull out her teeth so her remains could not be identified.

Several people knew Racheal was strangled and buried in the Lakeland backyard but never told police about the slaying until September 2004, when Romeo was arrested for killing one of his brothers.

Romeo was convicted of second-degree murder in 2005 for killing that brother and sentenced to 25 years in prison.

Robyn Shelton, Rene Stutzman, Amy L. Edwards, Bianca Prieto, Walter Pacheco and Gary Taylor of the Sentinel staff contributed to this report. Information from The Associated Press also was used.

No comments: