ROCKVILLE, M.D. — Police have charged a man with killing a Cornell and Ithaca High School graduate and her husband in a Maryland robbery, reports say.
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Police say Scott Tomaszewski, 31, confessed to killing Richard and Julianne Vilardo on May 10 in their Rockville home, according to CBS affiliate WUSA.
An obituary for the couple online says Julianne “Jody” Vilardo, 67, graduated from Ithaca High School in 1966 and the Cornell School of Hotel Administration in 1970.
She married Brooklyn native Richard “Dick” Vilardo, 65, in 1976 and later they moved to Maryland.
The New York Daily News reports that Tomaszewski was taken into custody in Juneau, Alaska as he was leaving a cruise ship with his parents to go on a whale-watching trip.
The Montgomery County Department of Police said officials found evidence, such as bloodied money, linking Tomaszewski to the murders in his ship cabin and his bedroom in the Maryland home he lived in with his parents. They said Tomaszewski and his parents live next door to the Vilardos.
Tomaszewski is charged with two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of armed robbery, and first-degree burglary, police said.
Police say Tomaszewski is also being linked to burglarizing the Vilardos and nearly burning down their home when he house sat for them in 1998. He was not considered a suspect at the time of the incident.
ABC 7 said the Vilardo family released the following statement:
We would like to acknowledge and thank Sgt. Larry Haley and Det. Carvajal and their team with the Montgomery County Police Department for their remarkable detective work which took them from Rockville, Maryland all the way to Juneau, Alaska.
They have worked tirelessly, around-the-clock, since this horrific crime was reported last Sunday and we are deeply appreciative of their efforts. We would also like to thank the State’s Attorney for Montgomery County, John McCarthy, who has worked hand-in-glove with the police department in this matter to make sure that the perpetrator is brought to justice.
For the past week, we have known the where, the when and the how; now we know who. And, while we may never truly understand why, as a result of the work of the police department and the prosecutors’ office, we can take the first step on the long road to healing. We thank them again for their commitment to help bring us closure.”