NORTH ADAMS, Mass. -- Walker Street resident David Delratez has been charged with murder in the homicide of 84-year-old Ellen DePaoli.
According to a Friday evening press release from the Berkshire District Attorney's Office, Delratez, 41, was charged Friday with one count of murder and one count of larceny of a motor vehicle.
Delratez is being held at the Berkshire County Jail & House of Correction without bail, according to the release. He will be arraigned at Northern Berkshire District Court on Monday.
DePaoli, a resident of 409 Walker St., was found dead in her home Tuesday night. Delratez was arrested in Bennington, Vt., Thursday, and arraigned as a fugitive from justice on a warrant issued through Northern Berkshire District Court. "Great appreciation is due to the many investigators who worked tirelessly in this case, some several days with little or no sleep," Berkshire District Attorney David Capeless said in a statement. "It was through the coordinated efforts of multiple police agencies that we were able to make this arrest." Capeless brought charges against Delratez on Friday after he voluntarily came back to Massachusetts, according to the press release.
"My condolences to the family of Ellen DePaoli as they struggle," said North Adams Mayor Richard Alcombright on Friday evening.
Alcombright expressed gratitude for the many agencies that worked on the case, including North Adams Police, State Police, Pittsfield Police, the Berkshire County Sheriff's Department, and the Berkshire County Law Enforcement Task Force.
"These people worked literally 72 hours without stopping," Alcombright said.
North Adams residents were not at risk during the investigation, Alcombright said, and that the murder appeared to be a "very random" incident.
In Bennington Superior Court on Friday afternoon, Delratez waived his right to an extradition hearing. He was charged as a fugitive from justice and is wanted on a probation violation for a prior assault conviction in Massachusetts.
According to an affidavit by Bennington Police Sgt. David Dutcher, North Adams Police informed them on Thursday that Delratez was possibly on Valentine Street in Bennington, driving a 2005 blue Ford Taurus. The vehicle's make, model, and license plate number matched the one police said is registered to DePaoli.
Police said they used the global positioning feature on Delratez's cell phone to track him to Bennington, where they believed he had friends.
The Taurus was located Thursday afternoon on Valentine Street, and police kept it under observation. While questioning residents of the area, police received word Delratez was running down Safford Street and went behind a residence. He was located and arrested by police from Bennington and North Adams.
DePaoli, 84, was found dead inside her 409 Walker St., North Adams, home by police on Tuesday night. Preliminary autopsy results confirmed that she was the victim of a homicide, according to information release by the Berkshire District Attorney's office. DePaoli was a cafeteria supervisor at Drury High School for many years.
Banner Staff Writer Keith Whitcomb Jr. and North Adams Transcript writers Adam Stark and Jennifer Huberdeau contributed to this story.