Skip to comments.Woman Killed Hours After Honeymoon; Husband Arrested
Posted on 08/18/2005 8:14:05 AM PDT by Millee
Police have arrested the husband of a woman who was found three years ago beaten to death and tossed behind a trash bin just hours after the couple returned from their honeymoon.A sanitation worker found the body of Wendy Trapaga, 21, early in the morning on Monday, Oct. 14, 2002. The body was next to a Dumpster along the 7200 block of Northwest 70th Street. Her face was badly beaten, according to police.
She and her husband, Michael Escoto, 35, had come back from her honeymoon late Sunday, Oct. 13, 2002. The couple had eloped, according to family members.
According to an attorney for the Trapaga family, the couple took out a life insurance policy worth $1 million just before their Oct. 10, 2002 wedding. Escoto was the beneficiary.
Early in the investigation, police said that they considered Escoto the prime suspect, but investigators said they did not have enough evidence to arrest him.
Police arrested Escoto Monday at the Fontainebleau Apartments in Miami where he was living with a girlfriend, but they have not yet said what evidence led to the warrant.
Is it just me?
On another note: Fire up "old Sparky," we have a winner!
Don't most life insurance policies have a 1 or 2 year period where they won't pay off just so the incentive of offing your spouse isn't quite so available?
NO way a policy is "issued" and in force in a few days for that amount..It was applied for..but no company would issue a policy on her for that amount..there is no insurable interest to justify the coverage...BTW...you are referring to suicide clauses..
Why would anyone purchase such a policy? I don't think there are too many policies like that.
14 years is a bit much when the girl is 21 and the guy is 35 (so no, it's not you)....granted, I don't have any room to talk.
Neither would most of the women in my family.
Thinking about it, yeah...it ain't always good.
''Detectives developed new information that led to his arrest,'' Juan DelCastillo, a Miami-Dade police spokesman, said Tuesday.
The evidence came from a civil case. In July, Trapaga's mother, Myriam Benitez, sued Escoto for the $900,000 Escoto was in line to receive from his wife's life insurance policy. The money had been held in an escrow account.
Benitez won the case against Escoto Aug. 9. Escoto withdrew all claims to the money, making it available to Trapaga's estate, court records show.
Benitez's lawyers say it was Escoto's five and a half hours of testimony in the civil trial that may have provided police with the evidence they were looking for.
''He had a lot of inconsistencies in his story,'' said Jorge Barron, an attorney for Trapaga's family.
Escoto testified that on the day of the murder the couple were returning from a one-night stay at the Miami Executive Motel and partying at the nearby club La Covacha when they got into a heated argument.
He said the couple arrived at their Miami Beach apartment around 5 a.m, but Trapaga stormed off by herself.
The new groom then told lawyers he called Trapaga's mother at 5:25 a.m. to tell her about the couple's argument and to find out if she knew of Trapaga's whereabouts. He said Trapaga had taken her car. At the civil trial, attorneys for Benitez poked holes in that story.
''We found a couple who operates a lunch truck in the area,'' said Rene Palomino Jr., another attorney for Trapaga's family. ``They open their cart every day at the same time -- 5 in the morning -- and the only people they saw around that time were the garbage collectors.''
Phone records also showed Escoto and Cerrillo, at the time his ex-girlfriend, exchanged several phone calls the morning of the murder.
Escoto said he was checking on her daughter, who had been sick for a week. However, police found a witness who said the little girl had been fine.
The Miami-Dade coroner's office also said Trapaga's death occurred between 3 and 5 a.m. Escoto was unable to provide an alibi for his whereabouts during those hours.
Escoto's lawyer, Miguel Manuel de la O, did not return repeated phone calls Tuesday.
Trapaga's body was found around 6 a.m., along the 7200 block of Northwest 70th Street, about 10 minutes away from the hotel where he said they had spent the final night of Trapaga's life.
Trapaga and Escoto met in February 2002, while Trapaga was a student at La Belle Beauty School. They moved into a Miami Beach efficiency by July and eloped that October.
Stephan said her family never liked Escoto. ``The first time I met him, I shook his hand, and I wanted to wipe my hands right after.''
According to police records, Escoto has a criminal record dating back to February 1995, when he was charged with robbing a Walgreen's off Bird Road and Southwest 87th Avenue. He also faced charges of carrying a concealed weapon and fleeing from police.
Yep, you're right, I was thinking of the suicide clause.
A) Who is Stephan? Did I miss mention of this person earlier in the article?
B) What in the heck is this sentence doing in the article? It has nothing to do with the story and mars any sense of reasonable credibility it may have otherwise had with this obvious attempt to bias readers. Is this really what writers are being taught to print now? They don't even try to mask their innuendo or use any creativity in attacking their subjects!? Not that this particular subject doesn't deserve scorn, but honestly this sentence should not have made it past the editor's desk.
Post #9 appears to be an excerpt. Click on the link for possible context.
From the article in post #9:
''All of this seemed set up from the beginning,'' said Trapaga's sister, Rita Stephan. ``He was able to fork out the money for a pricey life insurance policy, but where they were living was a hole in the wall, as if it was only a temporary living situation for him.''
(BTW, why is this thread in chat?)
It's just you. I was 34 when I started dating my wife. She was 21 at the time. We have been together for 21 years, married 13.
I consider myself living proof that all such relationships needn't end in murder.
A $1 millon term life policy for a 21 year old female who never smoked is around $250 per year.
Does any one know if life insurance policies have a clause or exclusion if the spouse kills the other is the policy void? Wonder if he also had a million dollar policy.
Must have been some greedy life insurance agent selling that high a limit. I would think based on age and amount it would have been flagged. It takes a good 30 days for companies to issue.
We had enough mayhem as it is ;-)
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