BOSTON (CBS) – A 20-year-old man is being held without bail for the June 23 murder of Deija Mendez, a Boston woman who had come to Lowell to buy a used car. Xavier DeJesus was captured in Fall River Tuesday after five weeks on the run.

Outside Lowell District Court, Carmen Nieves carried the ashes of her in a small urn around her neck.  She was able to obtain them just yesterday, the same day Dejesus was finally arrested.

“Why her? Why her? She wasn’t looking up she was looking at her phone. I want to know why,” said Nieves.

Family members show support for slain Boston woman Deija Mendez outside a Lowell courthouse. (WBZ-TV)

It was a shocking crime that put Dejesus on the Massachusetts State Police Most Wanted fugitive list.  Mendez had traveled from Boston to Lowell with a friend to buy his BMW after saving up the money.

The car was in the possession of the friend’s ex-girlfriend, who was now dating DeJesus. There was an apparent dispute over the vehicle and Mendez was killed as she sat in the front seat of a rented Chevy Tahoe.

“Video surveillance also shows an individual approaching the car from the front. Two shots were heard, one into the car door and one into Ms. Mendez’ forehead. From there, Dejesus fled the scene,” said prosecutor Chris Tarrant.

Xavier DeJesus (Image credit Middlesex DA)

He said a hoodie and blue latex gloves DeJesus was wearing were found in a nearby trash bin.

Corey Roy, 20, was also arrested Tuesday night, accused of being part of a conspiracy to help DeJesus obtain the weapon and then flee the area.  Her family says Dejia Mendez was an innocent victim.

“It hurts, I feel so numb and empty without her,” said her brother, Mikey Burdett.

The face of DeJesus has been prominently displayed on a wanted poster, but on Wednesday he was allowed to shield his face in court.

“He’s a coward,” said Nieves. “He’s bold enough to get a gun, bold enough to shoot my daughter and you can’t even show your face.”

DeJesus was charged with murder, discharging a firearm within 500 feet of a dwelling, carrying a firearm without a license, and possession of ammunition without an FID card.


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