Cranston teen charged with killing mother’s boyfriend

CRANSTON, R.I. (WPRI) — A Cranston teenager was arrested Wednesday after police said he admitted to shooting and killing his mother’s boyfriend.

The 17-year-old is expected to be arraigned in family court Thursday on murder and other related charges. Three other people are also charged in connection with the case.

The victim, identified by police as Valdez Loiseau, 24, was found dead in Attleboro on Tuesday, his body burned at the edge of the woods off Prescott Street.

“The subject had been lit on fire and it also appeared that he had suffered at least one gunshot wound,” Cranston Police Chief Col. Michael Winquist said in an interview with Eyewitness News Wednesday.

Winquist said police learned Loiseau lived with his girlfriend and her son at a home on Edgewood Avenue in Cranston, and quickly discovered the house was the crime scene.

“They observed in plain view a semi-automatic handgun as well as blood on the shoes of the victim’s girlfriend,” Winquist explained.

After conducting interviews, Winquist said a 17-year-old male admitted to killing Loiseau after a dispute between Loiseau and his girlfriend, the teen’s mother. The murder suspect is not being named because he is currently charged as a juvenile.

“He also admitted that he and his mother had transported the body to Attleboro, Massachusetts and attempted to light the body on fire,” Winquist said.

Eyewitness News crews spotted investigators removing a smashed up car from the house and then towed away a second vehicle a short time later. Evidence technicians wearing gloves and shoe coverings spent the morning going through the home. One of them was on the roof snapping pictures of a hole in the home’s siding.

The murder suspect’s mother, Melonie Perez, and his girlfriend, Samantha Rastella, are also charged in the case. Both women appeared in court Wednesday.

Melonie Perez (left) and Samantha Rastella (Photos: Cranston Police)

Perez, 35, is charged in connection with allegedly helping her son drive the body to Attleboro. Rastella, 18, is charged with allegedly trying to hide the murder weapon.

Both women were released on personal recognizance after their arraignments.

Another 17-year-old male from Cranston is charged with possession of ammunition in the case.

The teenage murder suspect is being held at the Rhode Island Training School until his arraignment on Thursday.