Body Found In Shallow Grave Behind Branford Restaurant Dumpster – Investigators worked meticulously for hours, and then found a body in connection with missing mom Lizzbeth Aleman-Popoca, 27, of East Haven.
A body was found in a shallow grave in the rear parking lot of LoMonaco’s Ristorante in Branford around 9:30 p.m. Wednesday, police officials told Patch.
East Haven Police Chief Ed Lennon said investigators found the body after digging in the back of the 990 W. Main St. parking lot. The area is littered with large garbage bins with a wooden fence separating the property from a dense patch of woods abutting railroad tracks.
Lennon said he couldn’t comment on whether the body is that of Lizzbeth Aleman-Popoca, 27, of East Haven, who has been missing since July 1. Lennon said that Aleman-Popoca’s family has been notified of the new developments, and he would have more information Thursday.
Police and investigators from multiple agencies, including state police, arrived at the restaurant around 6 p.m., but Connecticut State Police Major Crime Squad technicians had set up earlier.
Investigators could be seen Wednesday night collecting evidence and, armed with shovels, they began to dig in an “area of disturbed dirt behind the dumpster area.”
A technician from State Police major crimes squad was in a white suit and could be seen and heard digging, surrounded by a dozen or more members of law enforcement from Branford and East Haven. As night fell, onlookers began to arrive in the parking lot next door, trying to get a look.
East Haven Police Capt. Joe Murgo said earlier on Wednesday night that law enforcement would be on the scene “as long as it takes.” And they were. Police haven’t said what specifically had them searching the restaurant’s parking lot but Eula said, “the investigation led us here.”
Lennon later declined to confirm if Aleman-Popoca’s husband, Jonathan X. Jara-Aucapina, 27, works or worked at the restaurant.
Murgo, who has been working the case around-the-clock for 11 days, said late Wednesday night that the body was taken to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner and an autopsy is scheduled for Thursday, which, he said, would “reveal more details.”
We express our sympathy and deepest condolences to Popoca’s family today and in the days, weeks, months, and years that are to come as they cope with his passing. May his soul rest in peace.