The convicted pedophile who befriended the family of Madeline Irene instructed her 15-year-old son on how to go about drugging, strangling and dismembering her, Buffalo homicide detectives said Sunday.
Edwin Gimenez, 50, had eight or nine conversations with Angel Rosa to plan the Aug. 18 slaying of the 46-year-old West Side woman so that he could take Angel and his 12-year-old brother to New York City, detectives said.
"Gimenez was part of the plot to kill her. He conspired with the 15-year-old. He wanted to take the kids to New York City," homicide Investigator Patrick J. Judge said.
As a result, Gimenez, a West Side resident, now faces a charge of first-degree conspiracy to commit murder. He was charged earlier with four counts of sodomy and one count of kidnapping.
Angel, who confessed to killing his mother, was charged Saturday with second-degree murder, police said. He and Gimenez, police said, disposed of some of the Fargo Avenue woman's remains in the Black Rock Channel, where they first surfaced Aug. 23.
Police on Friday were able to determine the body parts were those of Irene after obtaining information from the Erie County medical examiner's office. But they are still trying to determine if the woman's head and hands are inside a plastic garbage can of hardened concrete that was taken from Gimenez's residence. Angel, according to detectives, said that those missing body parts were entombed in the concrete.
An X-ray machine at Erie County Medical Center was not strong enough to penetrate the concrete, so arrangements are being made with homeland security officials at Buffalo Niagara International Airport to use one of their more powerful X-ray machines, detectives said.
Who is Gimenez?
Gimenez, who lived downstate and in California for a time, came to Buffalo after he met Angel's older brother while serving time in prison, police said. The two became friends, and Gimenez established a link with Madeline Irene's family.
He arrived here about a year ago and set to work at gaining the confidence of Irene, who trusted him enough to let her son Angel spend extended periods of time at his Sherwood Street home.
"She was having discipline problems with him, and Gimenez volunteered to help her out. He gained her confidence. His ultimate goal was to get to the kids," Judge said.
Gimenez was released from prison in the early 1990s after serving several years for sexually abusing juveniles, according to police and New York State Department of Corrections records.
But he kept this dark side of his past a secret, according to those who knew him on Sherwood Street, where he lived in a first-floor rear apartment. And though he usually maintained a low profile, Gimenez sometimes shared personal information about himself.
Claiming to live on a pension from the Army, Gimenez told Maria Rentas that Angel was living with him because the teenager's mother had thrown him out of her house, and he had no place to go.
He also told neighbors that Angel's 12-year-old brother was his son, a claim police have not been able to verify.
"He used to talk about how [Irene's] boyfriend would beat his son and how Angel would run out of the house. He would not help his brother," said neighbor Marisol Ribas. "Edwin had a lot of anger in him over that."
Ribas, who lives next door to Gimenez's apartment, said it was always quiet there. "You never heard the TV on," Ribas said.
Gimenez, who is balding, slim at 5 feet, 6 inches and smoked cigars, said last week, prior to his arrest, that he wanted to move to New York City "because it gets cold up here in the winter," Rentas said.
Gimenez, Rentas added, confided that he suffered injuries during a surgery and could no longer participate in physical heterosexual relations.
Rentas said she did not know what to make of that statement, but police say they think it might have been an attempt to cast doubt on sexual assault allegations he anticipated would be made against him.
In fact, everything he did, detectives say, fits the profile of a pedophile -- gaining the trust of the boys, trying to take over a position of authority in their lives and causing division in the family.
An honor student
According to Angel's neighbors on Fargo Avenue, where his mother lived in the 500 block, the teenager was an honor student at Grover Cleveland High School. Thursday, one day before police questioned him, the 10th-grader told Ana Incle of his dream to pursue a career in the legal profession.
"I gave him a lift home from school and asked him what he wanted to be, and he said a lawyer," Incle said. Her husband, Enrique Incle, added that Angel said he wanted to first become a police officer and then study law.
Based on some of the stories he was telling neighbors, Angel apparently was trying to create a defense for himself in anticipation of his mother's disappearance turning into a murder case, police believe.
"He came and told me that his mother got up and left with his 12-year-old brother. Angel told me he was worried something might have happened to them," said 16-year-old Jaret Incle, who, like his parents, Ana and Enrique, was filled with disbelief over the allegation that Angel had murdered his mother.
After body parts were found near the foot of West Ferry Street in the Black Rock Channel, Jaret Incle said, Angel again visited him, weeping and worried about his mother and younger brother.
"Somebody told him they found a woman chopped up in a bag by the foot of Ferry Street. Angel was really stressed," Jaret Incle said. "He said, 'I just don't want anything to happen to my mom.' I told him, 'Don't worry. Everything is going to be OK. She's probably down in Florida.' Then he just sat down and played video games."
Irene, according to Ana Incle, had a boyfriend in Florida.
Police said Angel offered his older sister, who lives in Puerto Rico, a different story. When the daughter called Irene's cell phone Aug. 19, one day after the slaying, Angel answered it and told his sister their mother was away on a retreat when she asked why he was answering the phone.
The daughter then traveled to Buffalo to watch Angel and another brother, age 7, police said. When she arrived in her mother's home, authorities said, she noticed a foul odor. Police say Irene's body was dismembered on the upper floor of the modest 1 1/2 -story home and that accounted for the lingering stench.
Detectives said they found the 12-year-old at Gimenez's residence last week.
Building the case
Homicide Detectives Reginald Minor and Michael Mordino were working late Sunday, collecting additional information and evidence to build the case against Angel and Gimenez, according to Detective Sgt. Daniel Figueroa.
"We're showing photo arrays to people to place the suspects at the scene," Figueroa said. "That will strengthen our case."
Gimenez is being held without bail in Erie County Holding Center and is scheduled to be arraigned today in Erie County Court. Angel, who is in the Juvenile Detention Center on East Ferry Street, is also expected to be arraigned today.