BY KIMM R. MONTONE
Updated: Wednesday, September 3, 2008 4:28 AM EDT
A Uruguayan national who is in the country illegally allegedly bludgeoned his girlfriend to death with a metal rod Saturday in Susquehanna County.
Police detained 37-year-old Gustavo Xavier and escorted him to Community Medical Center on Saturday for a medical evaluation. On Tuesday, he was arrested on criminal homicide charges and taken from the hospital in handcuffs. He is in Susquehanna County Prison and has been denied bail.
Police discovered the body of Lisa Parlanti, 37, of Birney Avenue, Moosic, on Saturday in a bedroom closet at Mr. Xavier’s apartment in Franklin Twp., Susquehanna County, according to an affidavit. Autopsy results revealed the cause of death was blunt-force trauma to her head.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials Tuesday said Mr. Xavier was placed in deportation proceedings, which began in 2007 when it was discovered he had overstayed his visa, said ICE spokesman Michael Gilhooley.
Mr. Xavier attended an immigration court hearing in April and had another court hearing scheduled next month, Mr. Gilhooley said.
“The individual is known to Immigration and Customs Enforcement,” Mr. Gilhooley said. “He showed up for an April hearing, and the next we hear about him is from Pennsylvania state police, over holiday weekend.”
He said immigration officials have placed a federal detainer on Mr. Xavier, which will follow him through state court proceedings. The detainer orders if he leaves state custody, he will immediately revert to federal custody, Mr. Gilhooley said.
State police spokesman Trooper BIll Satkowski called the incident “a domestic dispute that went awry.”
According to an affidavit, neighbor Renee Ann Hendrickson became suspicious of Ms. Parlanti’s whereabouts, and discovered her body Saturday inside Mr. Xavier’s apartment, at Route 29 and Salt Springs Road. She then notified police. She had also noticed inside Apartment 4 that Mr. Xavier had a cut on his lip, and there was blood on the floor in the area of a cot.
State Trooper Stephen Kozlowski responded to the scene and saw Mr. Xavier standing in the apartment. While he searched the apartment, the trooper saw Mr. Xavier mumbling incoherently and picking at himself, according to the affidavit.
In a bedroom area, Trooper Kozlowski found Ms. Parlanti face-down, facing the back of the closet with a blanket underneath her head where there was a large amount of blood.
Police said Mr. Xavier told them Ms. Parlanti had grabbed a metal rod from the bathroom sink during a Friday afternoon fight.
That’s when Mr. Xavier took the rod from her, and he told police he hit her with it, according to the affidavit.
When Trooper Kozlowski asked how many times, Mr. Xavier allegedly said “one or two.”
Later Saturday, Mr. Xavier was taken to Community Medical Center for further evaluation.
State police arraigned Mr. Xavier before Magisterial District Judge Thomas Golden in Dunmore before taking him for an arraignment in Susquehanna County.
JESSICA DURKIN, a staff writer, contributed to this report.
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