Reporting Walt Hunter
By Walt Hunter
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — CBS 3 has learned the investigation into a Philadelphia homicide detective, suspected of possibly obstructing justice in a murder case, has now expanded.
Sources tell the I-Team the detective is now being looked at for possibly mishandling information in three additional murder cases, including the May, 2012 murder of 22-year-old Melanie Colon who was found shot to death in Juniata Park. A male companion, Reynaldo Torres, who disappeared at the same time, and who police believe was also murdered, has never been found.
The detective under investigation, according to sources, is suspected of possibly failing to tell fellow investigators about information connected to cases or leaking that information to outsiders.
Following a search of the detective’s home, sources indicate, investigators found information about the two murders in 2012 on his iPad.
On Tuesday night, only CBS 3 cameras were there as investigators accelerated their search for Torres, digging up an area along an old railroad right-of-way in West Kensington. Sources say they found evidence a body might have been left at the location, but no clear indication it was Torres. The search, sources say, was based largely on information recovered from the detective’s iPad.
The original investigation involved possible obstruction of justice in the investigation into Erica Sanchez, a friend of the detective, who has now been charged with murder. Sources say the detective is also being investigated for possible improper handling of evidence in a murder which occurred inside an Olney bar.
Because the detective, who has been temporarily reassigned from homicide, has not yet been charged with any departmental or criminal wrongdoing, CBS 3 is withholding his identity.
Philadelphia Police officials and the detective’s attorney declined comment.