Tuesday, September 13, 2016

OPD arrests 'person of interest' in case of woman found dead in Lake Underhill

Posted By on Tue, Sep 13, 2016 at 10:51 AM

  • Photo via Michael Donovan/Facebook
Orlando Police arrested a "person of interest" in the case of Olivia Renee Diggs, a 32-year-old woman who was found dismembered in Lake Underhill last month.
click to enlarge Olivia Diggs - PHOTO VIA OLIVIA DIGGS' FACEBOOK

OPD arrested Rafael Gonzalez, 46, on a charge of destroying evidence, and Orlando Police Chief John Mina says the department is not looking for anyone else in the case. The Orlando Sentinel reports Diggs was living in a homeless shelter with her three kids and trying to move on from years of drug addiction through her strong Christian faith. Orlando Police say Gonzalez is on federal probation from a 2001 conviction for kidnapping and conspiracy to commit robbery in New York. 
Officers say Gonzalez met the mother of three on a Lynx bus and exchanged phone numbers on Aug. 19, three days before her body was found in the lake, according to the arrest report. 
click to enlarge Rafael Gonzalez - PHOTO VIA ORLANDO POLICE
  • Photo via Orlando Police
  • Rafael Gonzalez

Later, they met up at Gonzalez' home on 512 Dorado Ave. Gonzalez' roommate told officers that the afternoon of Aug. 19, he noticed a black woman sitting on the home's porch, which he later identified as Diggs. After he went to his bedroom, Gonzalez' roommate later heard a struggle coming from Gonzalez' bedroom and a woman screaming, "Rafael, stop, don’t do that." 

Police spoke with Diggs' 12-year-old daughter, who told them she called her mother that night and was told by Diggs that she would be home in about an hour. The girl says she thought it sounded like her mother put the phone back in her purse, but did not disconnect the call. After several minutes of hearing her mother talking, she heard a deep male voice in the background say, "Come on, let's go."

"Hold on," Diggs responded. The phone was shut off after Diggs' final conversation with her daughter, according to the arrest report. Orlando Police say they later looked incoming calls to Diggs' phone and found 10 calls from Gonzalez's number the day she went missing. 

At Gonzalez's home, investigators say they found blood under the linoleum flooring in his room, as well as under the dresser and near the closet doorway. His roommates told officers that in the days after Aug. 19, they saw Gonzalez put down a new floor in his room and paint the walls. 

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