Police arrest suspect in Alaska for Maryland double murder

Police arrested a man on a cruise ship in Alaska on Saturday, and they say he has confessed to murdering a Rockville couple found dead in their home on Mother's Day. The suspect, investigators say, is the couple's neighbor.

Montgomery County police detectives traveled to Juneau, where the cruise ship was docked, to question 31-year-old Scott Tomaszewski. They say during the questioning, he admitted to killing Richard and Julianne Vilardo. The Vilardos were found dead on May 10 at their home by their daughter, who went to check on them after they failed to show up for a Mother's Day event. Police say they had been stabbed to death.

According to Montgomery County Police Chief Tom Manger, a burglary at the Vilardos' home in April 1998-- 17 years ago-- lead investigators to Tomaszewski, and to another burglary in the neighborhood over the Easter weekend this year. Police say Tomaszewski was house sitting for the Vilardos when their house was burglarized all those years ago, but he was not a suspect in that case.

Investigators obtained search warrants for his parents' home-- next door to the Vilardos-- where he lives, and his cabin on the cruise ship. Among the evidence they recovered were items linking him to the homicides, including blood-soaked money that was found in his wallet. The motive in the case is not clear, police said.

According to Manger, Tomaszewski's reaction was "very matter of fact," and he had little emotional reaction to his arrest.

Police say there is no evidence to indicate anyone else was involved in the killings.  Tomaszewski is charged with first-degree murder, armed robbery and burglary. He is being detained for both the Vilardos' murders and the Easter weekend burglary. He is not expected to appear before a judge until Monday, and will likely be brought back to Maryland. If he waives extradition, Tomaszewski could appear in Montgomery County district court later this week.

State's Attorney John McCarthy said prosecutors will likely present evidence to a grand jury for indictment.

The Vilardos were remembered by friends and family at a viewing on Thursday night, and they were laid to rest on Friday. The Vilardos' family released a statement after the arrest, which reads:

"We would like to acknowledge and thank Sgt. Larry Haley and Det. Carvajal and their team with the Montgomery County Police Department for their remarkable detective work which took them from Rockville, Maryland all the way to Juneau, Alaska. They have worked tirelessly, around-the-clock, since this horrific crime was reported last Sunday and we are deeply appreciative of their efforts.

We would also like to thank the State's Attorney for Montgomery County, John McCarthy, who has worked hand-in-glove with the police department in this matter to make sure that the perpetrator is brought to justice.
For the past week, we have known the where, the when and the how; now we know who.

And, while we may never truly understand why, as a result of the work of the police department and the prosecutors' office, we can take the first step on the long road to healing.

We thank them again for their commitment to help bring us closure."



The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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