PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The suspect in a 2015 murder is set to be sentenced following a court appearance on Thursday.
Efrain Blanco, 38, of Providence, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the death of 54-year-old Zenaida Pacheco, according to the office of Attorney General Peter Neronha.
Had the case gone to trial, prosecutors were prepared to prove that on Oct. 25, 2015, Blanco used a power cord to strangle Pacheco to death inside her Randall Street apartment.
“Zenaida Pacheco’s life was tragically and unnecessarily cut short, and there is only one person responsible for that – the defendant,” Neronha said in a statement Friday. “He stole a life, and all it promised. There is nothing that we in law enforcement can do to reverse that outcome, but we can do all we can to deliver justice for Zenaida and her family.”
Surveillance images of the suspect were released on Nov. 4, 2015, and police said Blanco turned himself in within hours. He was charged with Pacheco’s murder the following day.
Neronha’s office said Blanco’s DNA was found on the power cord used in the murder, but the motive remains unclear. At the time, police told 12 News the suspect and victim were not related and “if they knew each other, it was briefly.”
A sentencing date for Blanco has not yet been set.