By DAVID OWENS and HILDA MUÑOZ
The Hartford Courant
February 5, 2010
NEW BRITAIN —
Dia Palafox was discovered about 8:15 a.m. by her mother, who went to her daughter's home at 91 Brighton St. in the Stanley Quarter neighborhood when she couldn't reach her, police said. When she arrived at the home, the mother found her daughter dead on the kitchen floor, police said. Dia Palafox had obtained a restraining order against her husband, Juan Palafox, 32, on Jan. 27, according to records at Superior Court in New Britain.
Capt. Matt Tuttle said police believe that the couple's three children were in the house when their mother was killed, but were not aware of what had happened. The children, whose ages could not be determined Thursday, are now with their grandmother, police said.
After determining that Palafox was dead, officers left the house and applied for search warrants. Yellow crime scene tape surrounded the house and blocked off the street near the Palafox home for most of Thursday as New Britain detectives investigated. The state police Central District Major Crime Squad was called to the scene.
One of the first things that New Britain detectives did was issue an alert for Juan Palafox, and a police officer in Cumberland County, N.C., stopped him for speeding about 11 a.m. He remains in custody there, held as a fugitive from justice, police said.
The warrant charging Palafox with murder comes with a $5 million bail setting. He will be returned to Connecticut, police said.
An autopsy of Dia Palafox's body is expected to be performed today.
Tuttle said police believe that Palafox was killed late Wednesday or early Thursday.
Allan Wells of Portland, Dia Palafox's grandfather, said he was not aware of any problems between his granddaughter and her husband. They had three children together and were married about a year ago, he said.
Dia Palafox worked weekends at a rest home and her mother would watch the children, Wells said.
The couple bought the Brighton Street home in February 2008, according to city records.
Although Palafox does not have a criminal record, he was arrested on domestic violence charges in December 2002. Police at the time said that Palafox threatened to kill his then 23-year-old pregnant girlfriend with a knife. It was unclear whether the woman in that incident was Dia Palafox. He was charged with first-degree unlawful restraint, second-degree threatening, third-degree assault on a pregnant woman and disorderly conduct.
Court records of the case are not public, which means that Palafox was likely admitted to a diversionary program that enabled him to avoid jail and a criminal record as long as he successfully completed a period of probation and underwent counseling.
•Courant staff writer Dave Altimari and Fox 61 reporter Shelly Sindland contributed to this story.
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