Metro

Arrest made in murder of Worcester woman

A man is being held without bail Monday over allegations that he killed a a 49-year-old Worcester woman who worked in that city’s public school system.

The body of Sandra Hehir was found in her Congress Street apartment Feb. 5, and authorities later said she had been strangled.

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Jose Melendez, 54, of Worcester, is charged with her murder, and the Worcester district attorney’s office said DNA recovered from the crime scene had connected him to the case.

Melendez, who also uses the names Alvarado and Segura, had been arrested last week on a warrant out of Lynn. He had defaulted on probation in a 2014 breaking and entering case, prosecutors said. He also faces charges in two Worcester drug cases for allegedly giving police a false name.

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The suspect was arraigned on Monday in Worcester District Court, and he will return to court April 13.

According to the Worcester Telegram & Gazette, Hehir was known as “Buffy” to her friends and worked as a middle school instructional assistant.

“The Worcester Police detectives together with my ADAs and the State Police Crime Lab did some great work to get us to this arraignment today,” Worcester District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr. said in a statement.

John R. Ellement can be reached at ellement@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @JREbosglobe.
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