Unidentified man found stabbed to death inside PR motel

by Michael K. Lavers

National News Editor

Thursday December 17, 2009

Puerto Rican authorities continue to investigate the murder of a man inside a Ponce motel.

An unidentified man believed to have been gay was found nude with his throat slit inside a Motel Las Colinas room on Dec. 16. Investigator Richard Nazario told Nuevo Dia the man, who he said was between 40 and 45 years old, had 20 stab wounds on other parts of his body he said were consistent with "a person who tried to defend himself."

Motel employees told investigators two men checked-in Tuesday afternoon, and one of them left around 1:30 p.m. on Dec. 16. Nazario added local authorities have not received any missing person reports. And police continue to look at the motel's surveillance tapes.

This man's death comes roughly a month after Juan A. Martínez Matos allegedly murdered gay teenager Jorge Steven López Mercado. Martínez, known by his nickname Gasper, reportedly confessed he decapitated, dismembered and partially burned López's body before he dumped it alongside a road near Cayey on Nov. 13.

Pedro Julio Serrano of Puerto Rico Para [email protected] urged Puerto Rican authorities to investigate the man's murder as a possible anti-gay hate crime.

"Through the particular circumstances of his arrival at the motel with another man, the brutality of his murder, the hate with which [the second man allegedly] committed it and through clear signs of cruelty, we ask the authorities to investigate the hate angle in this case," he said in a statement released earlier today to Spanish-speaking media.

Based in Washington, D.C., Michael K. Lavers has appeared in the New York Times, BBC, WNYC, Huffington Post, Village Voice, Advocate and other mainstream and LGBT media outlets. He is an unapologetic political junkie who thoroughly enjoys living inside the Beltway.