COVENTRY, R.I. (WPRI) — Two men accused of killing a pregnant woman whose body was later found in an icy Coventry pond faced a judge Wednesday.
Gary Gromkiewicz, 35, of Lincoln, and Michael Lambert, 46, of Pawtucket, were arraigned on charges of murder and conspiracy. Both were ordered held without bail and the case will now move to superior court.
Prosecutors say early in the morning on Dec. 21, 2022, Gromkiewicz and Lambert picked up 34-year-old Leila Duarte Da Luz in Brockton. At some point, Da Luz was seriously hurt before the two men allegedly left her in Carbuncle Pond.
Da Luz was found by an angler later that day. She was identified several days later through a missing persons report filed in Brockton.
A medical examiner believes Da Luz was alive when she entered the water. The cause of her death was determined to be blunt force trauma and drowning, officials said in court.
Gromkiewicz was identified as the father of Da Luz’s unborn baby, according to detectives, and Lambert is a known associate of his.
Watch: Gromkiewicz court appearance (story continues below).
Prosecutors say Da Luz and Gromkiewicz previously dated, but they had relationship troubles. A few days after Da Luz was found, Lincoln police called Gromkiewicz.
“Near the end of the telephone call, an increasingly agitated Gromkiewicz said, ‘I’m all set. I have a girlfriend. I don’t want anything to do with Leila. If you find her, don’t call me. I don’t care.’ Gromkiewicz then hung up,” a prosecutor said in court.
“These facts and circumstances summarize the evidence in the state’s possession to charge Gromkiewicz and Lambert with murder and conspiracy to commit murder,” the prosecutor continued.
Da Luz was found to be wearing a wedding band that Gromkiewicz had bought two days prior. Prosecutors claim he then proposed to a different woman on Dec. 24.
Rhode Island State Police said they executed 53 search warrants and interviewed several witnesses throughout the investigation.
At the time of Da Luz’s death, Gromkiewicz was on probation from a 2015 assault, while Lambert was out on parole after serving time for a 1995 murder conviction. See a 1994 report on the murder from 12 News below: