2 arraigned in disappearance of Worcester teen
WORCESTER, Mass. (WHDH) --Two people are facing charges in the disappearance of 19-year-old Joseph Webster of Worcester. That teen vanished last month.
For relatives of the missing teen, it was two emotional arraignments on Monday. One arraignment took place in Worcester, the other in Westboro.
The suspects, a young man and a young woman, are charged with assault and battery and stealing the missing teen’s car. The female suspect is also charged with armed assault with intent to murder.
The 19-year-old is still missing.
The family of the victim clapped as one of the suspects, James Howze’s bail was set at $1 million. 19-year-old Howze from Providence, Rhode Island is accused in the disappearance of Joseph Webster.
Webster was described as autistic and diabetic and has been missing since March 13, 2012.
“It’s nice to know we’re having our day in court, justice is going to come and that’s really all I have to say,” said Paul Webster, Joseph Webster’s father.
Police said Howze and his alleged accomplice, 22-year-old Lara Cori, also of Providence, were seen with Webster going into a Motel 6 in Northboro but that Webster was not seen leaving.
“She’s distraught about the charges as most would be if they were facing these charges,” said Michael Erlich, Cori’s defense attorney.
Cori was held without bail at her arraignment.
Police said the suspects drove off in Webster’s car and eventually ended up in upstate New York where they were arrested.
Police said they found bloody evidence in the Motel 6 room they were in and outside the hotel as well.
“Only Mr. Howze and Ms. Cori know the whereabouts of Mr. Webster and whether in fact this is a murder or not,” said Lisa Casella, the prosecutor.
“Our main focus now is to bring Joe home because it’s very, very difficult for us to go through something like this and not put Joe to rest where he belongs and it’s very heart wrenching to see that animal there, just standing there and not giving a care in the world,” said Gerardo Sarli, Webster’s uncle.
The police are still looking for Webster and his car. Police said the two suspects were running a prostitution ring that operated in Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New York.
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