NORRISTOWN, Pa. (CBS) – Montgomery County authorities are closing the books on a two-year-old murder investigation that shocked the small community of Telford, Pa.
The victim was a well-liked store owner and the suspect died recently in his native Guatemala.
Prosecutors say an extensive investigation using confidential informants and intercepted phone conversations led them to José Antonio Pais, an illegal immigrant, whom they say fled the country not long after he killed Antonio Lombardo inside Lisa’s Pizza in Telford.
They tracked him and were preparing murder charges against him, but learned that he died in a construction accident at the end of last year.
As for a motive for the murder, Montgomery County DA Risa Ferman says they’re still not sure.
“The ultimate question of why Mr. Pais killed Mr. Lombardo is probably one that we will never be able to answer to anyone’s satisfaction. We know from statements that he made that he perceived some sort of slight in what Mr. Lombardo said to him,” DA Ferman says.
Pais killed Lombardo, says Ferman, by bashing his head into a heavy-duty espresso machine. Pais had worked for the Lombardo family in another restaurant but had been fired.
This was just the second murder in Telford’s history and the first on the Montgomery County side of the borough, which spans two counties.
Reported by Brad Segall, KYW Newsradio 1060.