PERRYVILLE — A man is facing murder charges after he allegedly killed his estranged girlfriend at some point over the weekend, after her body was discovered inside the suspect’s Perryville apartment on Sunday night, according to the Maryland State Police.
Investigators identified the suspect as 55-year-old Sergio Rodriguez Jr., who was arrested at approximately 8:30 p.m. Sunday — approximately one hour after the body of the victim — Jimmie G. Porter, 43 — was found inside Rodriguez’ residence in the 300 block of Broad Street in Perryville.
MSP officials reported that Porter, whose body was found on the apartment floor, had suffered “trauma to her upper body,” but, with the homicide investigation continuing on Monday morning, they declined to elaborate.
Porter was pronounced dead at the scene, police said. Her body has been transported to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore, where an autopsy will be performed to determine the “cause and manner of death,” police added. It is not clear when the murder occurred.
The investigation started at approximately 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, when Perryville Police Department officers went to Rodriguez’ apartment after receiving a dispatch regarding the discovery of an “unresponsive woman,” according to police.
A relative and a friend of Porter’s told officers that they had been looking for Porter after she had failed to report for work, police said. During the search, police added, the concerned relative and friend found Porter’s body inside Rodriguez’ apartment, where Porter had been living until recently.
PPD officers requested that MSP Homicide Unit detectives and crime scene technicians respond to the apartment and conduct the investigation, police reported.
“Items possibly used to assault the victim were recovered at the scene, but are not being identified at this time. They will be transported to the (MSP) crime laboratory for forensic examinations,” A MSP spokesman said, noting that detectives obtained a search warrant before processing the scene.
Homicide investigators also started searching for Rodriguez, who was not at the apartment when officers had arrived there, according to police.
At approximately 8:30 p.m. Sunday, about an hour after Porter’s body had been discovered in the apartment, MSP investigators learned that Havre de Grace Police Department officers had arrested Rodriguez on suspicion of drunken driving, police reported.
“Investigators responded to that (police) department, where Rodriguez was being processed for the DUI arrest. Based on information developed and evidence collected during the preliminary investigation, (MSP) homicide investigators took Rodriguez into custody and transported him to the North East Barrack,” an MSP spokesman outlined.
Early Monday morning, MSP detectives charged Rodriguez with first-degree murder, second-degree murder, first-degree assault and second-degree assault, after consulting with Cecil County State’s Attorney James Dellmyer, according to police.