Fugitive arrested in Wesley Chapel for 2002 murder in Connecticut

WESLEY CHAPEL – At 2:30 a.m. Thursday, detectives from Connecticut knocked on the door at 6923 Angus Valley Drive and arrested the man inside – Noe Taveras, a 23-year-old felon who, authorities say, killed a man in 2002.

Lt. Chris Corbett, spokesman of the Waterbury (Conn.) Police Department, said Taveras was matched to DNA evidence in a murder case. Taveras, who was convicted of burglary and larceny in 2008, is in a national DNA database because he is a felon.

Corbett said Taveras had a sister who lived in Waterbury.

The man who was killed, John Buttery, was 66 and lived in an upper-middle-class apartment building in an area without much crime, Corbett said. He retired as a cabinetmaker six months before he was killed.

Buttery had never been arrested. He had never been married and didn't have children. But he had many friends, Corbett said.

He told one of those friends that he had been meeting men in a nearby park and bringing them to his home, Corbett said. Detectives believe that Buttery and Taveras — who was 16 at the time — met somewhere and went to Buttery's apartment. Authorities say Taveras bashed a glass ashtray over Buttery's head and then strangled him.

There was a struggle, and the assailant's blood was found in the apartment. That was the DNA evidence that matched Taveras, Corbett said.

Authorities say Taveras stole Buttery's jewelry and car, which was found the next day wrecked on a curb. Finding the car led officers to the discovery of Buttery's body. Buttery's jewelry was sold on the streets of Waterbury.

"We put out a composite sketch," Corbett said. "But we were never able to identify the suspect."

Taveras is charged with murder. Corbett said he arrived in Connecticut on Friday afternoon. One of the detectives who came to Florida to get him had been working the case since Day 1.

The town has a half dozen murders a year, but nearly all of them are solved. This one, Corbett said, "people remember."

Times researcher Shirl Kennedy contributed to this story. Erin Sullivan can be reached at esullivan@sptimes.com.

Fugitive arrested in Wesley Chapel for 2002 murder in Connecticut 06/12/09 [Last modified: Friday, June 12, 2009 8:10pm]

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