COOLBAUGH TOWNSHIP– A man is locked up in Monroe County charged in the deaths of two men whose bodies were found in a township park last month.
Luis Vasquez, 28, of Pocono Summit, is charged with two counts of criminal homicide in the deaths of Bertoldo Velez and Joseph King, both of Stroud Township.
Police said Vasquez owed one of the men thousands of dollars and when the two victims went to collect, they were shot to death.
Vasquez did not have anything to say at his arraignment at a magistrate`s office near Tobyhanna.
He was charged with two counts of criminal homicide and tampering with evidence in the deaths of Velez and King.
“The detectives here did a phenomenal job from the time the bodies were discovered to today. It was a double homicide arrest where we had no suspects and it was a who-done-it in the first couple of hours,” said Chief Harry Lewis with the Pocono Mountain Regional Police.
On August 17, an officer on routine patrol found the men`s bodies in the parking lot of the Coolbaugh Township municipal park.
According to court papers, the two were there to collect money from Vasquez, who told police he owed about $10,000 to Velez.
Investigators said Velez appears to have loaned money to people for a living. Court papers said King was his bodyguard.
The two men were found with multiple gunshot wounds. Velez was also struck on the head with a rock.
Police said Vasquez was interviewed within five hours of the bodies being found, but two weeks ago, investigators caught a break with evidence.
According to court papers, a man walking along a road in the Stillwater Lakes development, found a black duffel bag in a drainage ditch about 100 yards from Vasquez`s home. Inside the duffel bag was a gun, what appeared to be bloody clothes and gloves.
Test results showed the gun was the murder weapon. The clothes and gloves contained the DNA of one victim, Bertoldo Velez, and Vasquez.
“When you have killings as violent as this, we wanted to put the community at ease that it wasn`t a random act of violence, but it was still at a municipal park during the summer months and that obviously raised our concern and we`re just very grateful that we got some lucky breaks,” said Lewis.
Luis Vasquez was arrested at his job at United Envelope company near Mount Pocono, where the victims also worked.
“For public safety, we wanted to arrest him as fast as possible,” added Lewis.
Vasquez is locked up without bail in the Monroe County jail.
Police said the investigation is ongoing and it is possible more arrests could be made.