April 25’s episode of 48 Hours explores the murder of Haley Anderson, a Binghamton University nursing student, who was killed by her classmate Orlando Tercero. At the time of her death, 22-year-old Anderson was just a few months shy of graduating from Binghamton University and starting work as an emergency room nurse.
Tercero, who was also a nursing student, strangled Anderson at his off-campus apartment on March 8, 2018. The two had dated previously and media reports have stated that he felt jealousy and rejection when Anderson told him she didn’t want a serious relationship with him and instead got back together with an ex-boyfriend.
Here’s what you need to know about the death of Haley Anderson:
1. She Had Dated Tercero Casually & He Was Suspected of Slashing Her Car Tires in a Previous Incident
According to testimony during the trial, Anderson and Tercero dated casually for about a year prior to her death. Tercero was said to have been jealous of Anderson’s new boyfriend after she broke things off with him. According to media coverage of the police investigation, Anderson had previously approached police with a complaint that she believed Tercero slashed the four tires on her car parked outside her house.
According to the same report, Anderson decided not to press charges over the September 17 incident so Tercero was never arrested. In the statement to police on that day, obtained by Press Connects, Anderson said she and Tercero had “dated for a short time.” Two days before, Tercero confronted Anderson at a party at his house about her dating one of Tercero’s friends. Police wrote that Tercero “got very upset and was shouting at her.”
2. Her Body Was Found at Tercero’s Apartment After Her Friends Used an App to Find Her
According to prosecutors during the trial, Tercero strangled Anderson on March 8, 2018, out of jealousy. They believe that he may have attempted suicide, leaving a note to his family apologizing for what he’d done. The judge said after the sentencing that, “Orlando Tercero, in a cold-blooded manner, choked the life out of a young woman who we believe was probably sleeping and had been drinking.”
On March 9, Anderson’s roommates became worried about her whereabouts after they couldn’t reach her, and used the Find My Friends app to track her phone to Tercero’s apartment. When no one answered the door, two of the roommates said they climbed in the window. They found Anderson’s body in Tercero’s bed and called the police, launching the investigation.
3. Tercero Fled to Nicaragua After Killing Anderson, Where He Also Holds Citizenship
After Tercero strangled Anderson, he drove to John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City and got on a flight to Nicaragua. Although he was born in the U.S., Tercero holds dual citizenship with Nicaragua through his parents. At the time, police released a statement which said: “The investigation determined that the person of interest had left the United States by an international air travel flight, prior to the discovery of Haley Anderson’s deceased body.”
Five days after Anderson’s murder and four days after Tercero arrived in Nicaragua, he was arrested at the Hospital de León where he was seeking medical assistance for “self-inflicted injuries,” according to the Nicaragua National Police’s statement reported by media. The police stated: “The National Police received a request from U.S. authorities for the location and capture of the delinquent Orlando Enrique Tercero Moreno, 22 years old, who [entered] Nicaragua on Friday, March 9 at 3:55 p.m. from the U.S.” He was then transferred to a prison in the country’s capital, El Chipote.
4. His Trial Was Held in Nicaragua After They Declined to Extradite Him to the U.S.
The U.S. requested that Nicaragua extradite Tercero back to New York so he could stand trial there, however Nicaragua declined to do so. Because Tercero holds citizenship in both countries, there is no treaty that required them to comply with an extradition order. These legal obstacles for extradition took place over 2018, and in October 2019, Nicaraguan prosecutors confirmed he would stand trial there.
The trial took place in Nicaragua in Spanish, with a video link connecting the courtroom to the Broome County District Attorney’s Office in New York. An interpreter kept everyone in New York updated, including Anderson’s parents who followed the trial. It started on October 1, 2019, and the video link was also used to allow witnesses in New York to testify in the trial.
In November 2019, the judge on the case sentenced Tercero to 30 years in prison, which is the maximum sentence in Nicaragua for the crime of femicide. A femicide charge is different than anything in the American legal system, and it accuses Tercero of killing Anderson because of her gender.
5. Anderson Was Described as a ‘Vibrant’ Person By Her Family & Friends
After her death, her friends described Anderson as a friendly person, beautiful inside and out. Her roommate Josephine Artin said, “She was the warmest person. I didn’t know anybody who didn’t like her. Her laugh was contagious — I would always be laughing just because she was laughing.” Artin added, “She brought joy and light wherever she went.”
Brittany Piket, a friend of Anderson’s since high school, said, “She was the personality, you know, she walked into the room and you knew it. She was beautiful inside and out, a beautiful girl. She had this radiant personality, and you could throw her in a room with strangers and they’d all be best friends within five minutes because that’s just how she was, she just made everything fun.”
Piket added, “She was silly and goofy and jumped around and had dance parties. But she was also a hard worker. She would study for tests for days and she would do well on them.”
Anderson’s parents, Karen and Gordon Anderson, and her younger sister Madeline followed the trial closely. In regards to the tire slashing incident and her daughter’s unwillingness to press charges, Karen Anderson said: “She was very trusting and very loving. She didn’t like conflict. She just wanted to help him, and she thought he was a friend.”
Gordon Anderson said that his daughter “was a kind, compassionate person who always saw the good in people,” which is what made her want to pursue nursing, so she could help others. He added, “She was someone who would have made a huge difference in this world.”