Christopher Gonzalez found himself locked up after being pulled over for a suspended driver’s license Tuesday in Naples, Florida. Police say that two cold-case slayings in New York have been solved following the arrest of the man.
Authorities said the suspected killer has been on the run for more than 17 years, after he reportedly strangled a young woman in the Bronx with a telephone cord.
The case has drawn wide attention throughout the state of Florida, where the story is going viral.
Heavy spoke with a coworker of the man, who described him as “respectable and hardworking.”
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Police Say They Solved 2 Murders After a Traffic Violation Revealed His Fingerprints
According to an arrest report obtained by Naples Daily News, police stopped Gonzalez, 36, on November 7 “after they realized he was driving without a valid license.”
In addition, Gonzales was arrested under the same circumstances when he was arrested in April on suspicion of driving without a valid license. The suspect was subsequently fingerprinted, and the DNA was submitted to a database in May, leading to a match in the two cold case murder investigations.
2. He May Have Met His First Alleged Victim in 2000 via the Internet, Investigators Say
Detectives are investigating whether Gonzalez encountered the first victim “by a paramour she met on the internet,” New York Daily News reported.
The naked body of Dora Almoteser, of the Bronx burough of New York City, was found at her uncle’s apartment in Van Nest on December 2, 2000. The woman, who was 19 at the time of the murder, was reportedly strangled to death with a phone cord while house sitting for her uncle.
One fingerprint was left behind in the case, eventually leading authorities to Gonzalez.
The alleged killer is being held without bond in Naples and is awaiting extradition to New York on second-degree murder charges involving Almoteser.
In addition, police said Gonzalez also has another warrant in New York as well as a warrant for his arrest in North Carolina.
3. A Second Victim Was Strangled in 2005
According to New York State Police, Gonzalez is also connected to the September 3, 2005 murder of Angel Serbay, 25, of Yonkers, who was also found strangled. Authorities found the woman’s body wrapped in a blanket and dumped on the shoulder of the Sprain Brook Parkway.
Authorities said at the time that Serbay was strangled that morning or the night before in Yonkers and that her killer drove her body to where it was later spotted by a passing motorist.
Devalle was the mother of a young boy, Pix 11 reported. In a chilling revelation, “law enforcement source” told the station that Gonzalez lived within blocks of each victim in New York.
4. He Has Since Married & Worked at Toys ‘R Us Among Children in Naples
While on the run, Gonzalez managed to get married and secure a job at Toys ‘R Us in Naples, where he worked among children, NBC 2 Naples reported.
According to the news station, Toys ‘R Us issued the following statement on Wednesday:
This is a highly disturbing allegation and we are working to investigate whether this individual works for us so that we make take action immediately.
5. A Coworker Described Him as ‘Hard Working’ and Said ‘It’s Very Hard to Believe’ He Committed the Murders
Heavy spoke with a coworker of Gonzalez who described the man as respectable and hardworking. She stated:
I met him at Toys ‘R Us. I have no negative words about him. He was a very nice, respectable and hardworking man. It’s very hard to believe that he did what he’s being accused of. I know he hasn’t been in Naples long…I really don’t want to believe it’s true. But people don’t understand what actually happened 17 years ago…no one knows except him. But people change and I do not fear that man.
The source added that she believes Gonzalez shares “multiple children with his wife,” and said he was talking about them just before the arrest. “He came here to make a better life,” she stated.
The coworker also shared concerns that people will judge Toys ‘R Us because of the news of Gonzalez’s arrest. “It is not Toys ‘R Us fault,” she told Heavy. “When doing a background check they check for convicted reports, not warrants. So it’s not right to put the company down. They work really hard to keep the customers happy and protected.”