BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (CBSNewYork) — A Connecticut man is charged in the killing of a teenage boy.
Family members hearts are shattered after losing 14-year-old Jose Nunez.
“He’s gone and we’re never going to see him again, we’re never going to talk to him again. I just want to hold him and hug him and kiss him and I can’t,” said Wendy Rivera, the victim’s aunt.
The family says Jose Nunez was lured out of his Bridgeport home for sex around 4 a.m. Tuesday by a man he had been communicating with on Snapchat.
After waking up to the front door wide open, they called police to file a missing person’s report, but 24 hours later, officers showed up with devastating news.
“And they told us he was dead, and they threw him away like a piece of garbage,” Rivera said.
Jose’s body was found in a wooded area 20 miles away in Oxford, CBS2’s Cory James reports.
That’s where authorities arrested 19-year-old Diante Willoughby for the murder.
“Throughout the course of the investigation, we had been closely surveilling a person of interest. That person was observed at the scene of the body yesterday afternoon and he was taken into custody,” Bridgeport Police Capt. Brian Fitzgerald said. “He made admissions to his involvement.”
Jose’s loved ones say Willoughby often visited the neighborhood and engaged with children.
“He would buy them Uber Eats, he would buy, give them money for, for anything,” Rivera said.
Authorities also say Willoughby is a former police explorer.
Now, as they prepare to say goodbye to a high school freshman who loved snakes, video games and basketball, Jose’s stepfather, Higinio Campos, is pleading with parents to monitor what their children are doing on social media before it’s too late.
“The older guys can easily manipulate children. Take care of your children, please,” Campos said.
Police are not saying if anyone else was involved in the murder.
According to police, the cause of death was determined to be strangulation.
Willoughby has been charged with murder is being held on $2 million bond.
Anyone who feels they have been victimized by Willoughby in the past or anyone with information regarding past criminal activity involving Willoughby is asked to call police at 203-581-5205.