BURRILLVILLE, R.I. — The body of a missing 60-year-old Worcester man was discovered Friday buried beneath a layer of freshly poured cement under a new deck at a home on Douglas Pike, according to a statement from Burrillville police.
Rhode Island State Police and Burrillville officers were conducting their second search of the house at 505 Douglas Pike Friday when they discovered the body of Domingo Ortiz, according to the statement.
On Saturday, the remnants of the dug-up concrete were visible at the side of the home, a one-story building with chipped red paint. Trash, tires, broken chairs, and other debris were scattered in the yard. The new deck, which had been built on the side of the house, was detached and visible in the backyard. The house also had an older deck at the back.
No one answered the door.
Burrillville police said Ortiz has not been seen since May 5 and his death was being investigated as a homicide.
Steven Biron, the owner of a gas station just down the street from the home, said Ortiz's family had come to his store just after Mother's Day asking for surveillance video of the stretch of Douglas Pike that his cameras capture.
The family told him that Ortiz had most recently been at the house at 505 Douglas Pike, he said.
Biron said he became suspicious that something was wrong because he saw a new deck go up just days after Ortiz was last seen. He told police of his concerns, he said.
"It doesn't make sense to me," he said, noting that he believes the occupants of the home were renters. "No one builds a deck on a house they don't own. This house, it's a dump — there's no grass, there's junk all around. I think, why is someone building a deck? Then I saw the cement, and I thought to myself, 'Is it a coincidence that it's a few days after Mr. Ortiz was missing?' "
Biron said he had seen police searching the residence for about 12 hours on May 21, and the next day he said he saw them searching a nearby swamp area.
Ortiz's family could not immediately be reached for comment.
Property records list the owners of the home as Mark Tarasiak Jr. and Robin White . Neighbors said they believed Tarasiak and White did not live there. Neither could be reached for comment.