Father Arrested In Girl's Killing

By Paul Duggan
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, August 3, 2008

The father of 12-year-old Marisol Caceres was arrested in her killing and jailed without bond yesterday as more grim details emerged about the girl's strangulation Tuesday in her family's Northeast Washington apartment.

Clad in a white jail jumpsuit, his legs shackled and head bowed, Felipe Antonio Caceres, 45, stood quietly before a D.C. Superior Court judge yesterday afternoon, a Spanish-speaking interpreter whispering in his right ear as a prosecutor outlined the second-degree, unpremeditated murder case against him.

"Extremely disturbing circumstances," Judge Lynn Leibovitz said, ordering Caceres jailed pending a preliminary hearing Aug. 21.

When Marisol's mother, Berta Alvarado, and one of the victim's step-siblings found her body in their apartment about 1 p.m. Tuesday, Marisol was "lying on the living room floor, partially clothed and with a plastic bag over her head," according to an affidavit filed in court by Detective Carlos Hilliard of the D.C. police.

The girl's "shirt was pushed halfway up her midsection and . . . her shorts were pushed halfway down her left," the affidavit states. "The plastic bag was tied with a knot." The medical examiner who determined that Marisol was strangled said she suffered bruises on her head and both legs as well as abrasions to her neck. There was no evidence of a sexual assault, the examiner said.

Hilliard said in the affidavit that there were no signs of forced entry at the apartment and that the door was ajar when the mother and step-sibling returned home.

Caceres, who could not be located by investigators or family members immediately after the killing and was the focus of a police search last week, was charged with second-degree murder about 8:30 p.m. Friday, a few hours after he walked into a D.C. police station and agreed to be interviewed, authorities said.

Before the interview, though, police took Caceres to a hospital for treatment of what Hilliard, in the affidavit, called "hesitation-type laceration knife marks to his neck." The detective said such marks "often occur in suicide attempts."

Hilliard said Caceres also "had scratches on the inside and outside of [his] arms that were consistent with fingernail scratch marks." He said Caceres "consented to show officers similar scratches on his thighs."

Investigators said Caceres, an auto mechanic, left the third-floor apartment in the unit block of Hawaii Avenue NE about 8:50 a.m. Tuesday, saying he was going to work.

About 10 minutes later, they said, Marisol's mother and the step-sibling left for a doctor's appointment, leaving Marisol alone in the apartment.

About 9:20 a.m., Hilliard said in the affidavit, Caceres telephoned "his place of employment," which other investigators said was an auto shop in Prince George's County.


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