Virtually 20 years after the physique of a lady was discovered floating inside a suitcase within the Biscayne River Canal, the Miami-Dade State Lawyer’s Workplace introduced Tuesday they’ve charged her ex-boyfriend together with her homicide.

Authorities mentioned they’ve charged 45-year-old Berkley Calvin Curtis Jr. with 2nd-degree homicide within the loss of life of 26-year-old Rebeca Pena.

Rafael Pena, Rebecca’s father, describes getting the decision with the information. His phrases have been translated from Spanish to English.

“With this information of the arrest of this individual, the ache will probably be much less as a result of justice has been served,” he says. “However the vacancy remains to be there and received’t go away.”

“Day-after-day we don’t see her right here, we cry just a little,” he continues. “However we’re satifsifed with the life we gave her. I inform everybody, take pleasure in life along with your youngsters, and forgive them, since you don’t know what might occur in the future.”

Pena’s physique was found by boaters on April 16, 2001 within a floating suitcase within the river together with two 25-pound weight lifting plates, which have been supposed to assist maintain the physique underwater.

Police mentioned in addition they discovered {a magazine} addressed to the Pena household with a Silver Springs, Maryland tackle, which was the residence of Pena and her ex-boyfriend, Berkley Calvin Curtis Jr., the daddy of Ms. Pena’s little one, authorities mentioned.

“An unsolved murder gnaws on the coronary heart each father or mother and each member of the family left behind,” mentioned State Lawyer Katherine Fernandez Rundle. “Every survivor waits for the day that the killer of their cherished one is dropped at justice. For the Pena household, we imagine that day has lastly arrived. I need to commend the Miami-Dade Police Division for his or her onerous work and dedication towards bringing the accused killer of Rebeca Pena to justice.”

She credit new forensics and modern-day expertise for the data they wanted to maneuver the case ahead.

“We may return and take a look at GPS data, as an illustration. And as we speak, we may see the place individuals are shifting round. In order that was an enormous asset for us.”

She additionally mentioned there have been further clues relating to the suitcase and the burden plates, however she says she couldn’t go into additional element.

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In 2001, Pena had been working as a film additional through the filming of the film “Ali” and was final seen leaving the set in her white Honda Civic round 2:15 a.m. The car was later discovered parked at her house in Miramar.

Detectives mentioned Pena had been stalked by Berkley Calvin Curtis Jr. and that she had an energetic restraining order towards him.

Pena’s father instructed authorities that his daughter was afraid of Curtis and was involved that he would hurt her.

The sufferer’s sister instructed police that Curtis had been bodily abusive to her sister previously, citing an incident in November of 1998, the place Curtis” grew to become violent, choking her and requiring police intervention.

Detectives mentioned that again in 2001, there was not sufficient proof to cost Curtis in reference to Pena’s loss of life.

“I’m exceptionally pleased with our present, former and retired murder investigators who labored relentlessly on fixing this almost 20-year-old case, “mentioned Miami-Dade Police Director Alfredo Ramirez.

“Bringing closure to the household of Rebeca Pena almost 20 years later is only one instance that we always remember the victims that not have a voice. The Miami-Dade Police Division is humbled and honored to be part of this course of.”

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