Police search park for evidence in murder cases - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Police search park for evidence in murder cases


A police diving team has spent Tuesday searching Hartford's Pope Park for evidence in a pair of murders.

Years after two cold case homicides, investigators scouring the bottom in search of a pair of guns starting at 8 a.m.

"Our detectives are certain that there is evidence in this pond," said Hartford police Lt. Brian Foley.

West Hartford dive team were in the capital city for a cold case murder from January 2010, when Christian Torres of Hartford was shot and killed in a shootout near Park Road and South Highland Street.

In this case, police said, there was a chase between two cars and people inside were shooting at each other.

Torres was shot and later died.

Hartford police said they were also looking for a gun used in the shooting death of Matthew Rivera on Dover Street in August 2009.

"We have some pretty good information that a murder weapon is in the pond here," said West Hartford police Capt. Donald Melanson. "Whether it is for this case, if not maybe for one of several other cases."

The first of two dive teams entered the water around 11:30 a.m., but the water was reported to be too murky to use a video camera under the surface. 

"It's a difficult dive, but it just goes to show the commitment to the cold case our department has, and the tenacity of our detectives and homicide investigators," Foley said.

The dive team did not find any guns and stopped its search just before 3 p.m.

Officers told Eyewitness News this was a difficult dive because they could only see about six inches in front of themselves underwater that does not mean this search is by any means over.

"Our next step would be to dredge the pond and drain it," Foley said. "And search it from that step and that's certainly something we are looking into."

Police told Eyewitness News it is so murky in the pond they were actually just feeling their way around the bottom of the pond while searching for the guns.

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