During the last moments of her life, Amy E. Lord was led on a terrifying journey, from the South Boston street where the 24-year-old was kidnapped to a series of ATMs where she was forced to withdraw money, to Stony Brook Reservation where her brutally stabbed body was discovered by a passing cyclist early Tuesday morning.
The crime was shocking, not just because the victim, a former cheerleader from a small town in Western Massachusetts, was seemingly chosen at random as she was headed to the gym, but also for the horrifying details of that rainy morning, when, under the control of her captor or captors, she was forced in and out of her own Jeep, as commuters drove past her, apparently unaware of the horror she was experiencing.
No one has been charged with killing Lord, who grew up the oldest of three daughters in Wilbraham, a town of about 15,000 nearly two hours west of Boston.
Authorities said they were investigating whether her killing was connected to two other assaults in South Boston. A 28-year-old Boston man, Edwin Alemany, has been identified as the suspect in those assaults, but police declined to say whether they believed he also attacked Lord.
Two law enforcement officials with knowledge of the case said two men were involved in the assault on Lord. Several law enforcement officials said that Alemany is being investigated in connection with Lord’s killing.
On Wednesday, Boston police and Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley urged the public, especially people in South Boston, to be wary of anyone who looks threatening.
“Be careful,” said Superintendent in Chief Daniel Linskey of the Boston police. “Don’t walk alone. Be aware of your surroundings. . . . Do not get into a car with an individual. Do not let someone talk to you or cajole you into going somewhere. If you’re nervous or upset, make noise. Let your neighbors know there is a problem. Get help. And keep your eyes out for your neighbors as this case progresses.”
According to the official timeline described by authorities, Lord’s ordeal began at 6 a.m. Tuesday.
She had just left the apartment she shared with several other women on Dorchester Street and was just a few feet from her front door when she was kidnapped.
For 47 minutes, police believe, she was in her Jeep with at least one captor, who forced her to withdraw money from banks in South Boston and Dorchester, all within about 2 miles of each other.
At 8:37 a.m., Boston police and fire officials responded to a call for a burning car at 26 Logan Way in South Boston. It was a black Jeep that police later learned was registered to Lord.
At 11 a.m., someone reported to police in South Boston that Lord was missing after she missed an appointment. At 4:21 p.m., a man riding his bicycle through Stony Brook Reservation in Hyde Park found Lord’s body in the woods.
Her death has devastated her family and friends, who recalled Lord as a vibrant, intelligent graduate of Bentley University who excelled at nearly everything she tried. At the time of her death, she was working as a media analyst for a digital marketing firm in the South End.
“If you had a daughter, you would want her to be like Amy,” her grandfather, Donald Lord, said. “She was everything you would want your daughter to be.”
Cherise Leclerc, who was on the cheerleading squad at Minnechaug High School with Lord, recalled that Lord was like many young people in their hometown, who talked about leaving the sleepy suburb and living in Boston.
“Boston is one of those cities where you never feel in danger,” Leclerc said. She found out her friend had died late Tuesday night, when she got home from work and checked her Facebook account. Several of her friends had posted messages like “Rest in Peace, Amy.”
“I noticed her best friends, her closest friends were writing how cruel people can be,” Leclerc said. “Right off the bat, I knew it wasn’t just a car accident. I knew it was something much worse.”
Police released the addresses of the five bank machines that Lord was taken to and an image of Lord getting out of the Jeep, dressed in a gray tank top, black leggings, and bright orange or pink sneakers. Lord was driven to East Boston Savings Bank on Southampton Street; Metro Credit Union on Massachusetts Avenue; Bank of America and Sovereign Bank on Columbia Road; and Citizens Bank on Adams Street.
Authorities urged the public to look closely at the image of Lord and report to police if they recalled seeing her between 6 a.m. and 6:47 a.m. at any of the locations they listed.
“No matter how small or tangential it may seem to you,” Conley said, “the public’s eyes and ears might provide us very critical evidence we need to find justice for Amy Lord, for her family, for her friends.”
One hour before Lord was abducted, another woman was assaulted in Andrew Square on Old Colony Avenue. A man she described as stocky and with a mole, punched her in the face, then pushed her to the ground. The man then left.
Just after midnight Wednesday, a woman said she was stabbed as she walked along Gates Street, near Telegraph Street in South Boston. She told police that a man in his 20s began following her, then repeatedly stabbed her. She broke free and escaped as the man fled toward Dorchester Street.
Alemany has been charged with assault with intent to murder in the stabbing on Gates Street and is expected to be arraigned Thursday in South Boston District Court. Conley’s office said they also expect that Alemany will be charged in the Old Colony Avenue assault.
Conley said investigators are looking for possible connections between Lord’s killing and the two assaults.
“At this point, we’re not in a position to link her homicide with any other offense,” he said.
Alemany was arrested after he went to Tufts Medical Center for a stab wound to his hand, officials said.
The stabbing victim was also being treated there, said two officials briefed on the investigation.
When she saw Alemany, she identified him to authorities as the man who attacked her, the officials said.
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