Police in upstate Binghamton on Monday identified a male nursing student as a person of interest in the homicide of Haley Anderson of Westbury.
Authorities with the Binghamton Police Department said Orlando E. Tercero, 22, “had fled” from the United States to Nicaragua before police found Anderson’s body during a welfare check Friday at an off-campus residence on Oak Street in Binghamton.
Tercero is a U.S. citizen, according to Binghamton police.
Anderson, also 22, had a “previous domestic/romantic relationship” with Tercero, police said.
In a statement released Monday that does not identify Tercero by name, Broome County District Attorney Steve Cornwell said his office will present evidence to a grand jury and, if there is an indictment, ask Nicaragua, which does not have an extradition treaty with the United States, to return “the defendant back to Broome County.”
“Though we cannot bring Haley Anderson back, we will fight for justice,” Cornwell said.
Police launched an investigation after Anderson’s body was found and declared her death a homicide after an autopsy was conducted at Lourdes Hospital in Binghamton on Saturday.
“This incident and the circumstances of the death was not a random act or involving the conduct of a stranger,” Binghamton police said in a statement.
Friends and family members continued to grieve for Anderson, who attended W.T. Clarke High School in Westbury before enrolling at Binghamton Univesity, part of the State University of New York system. Like Tercero, she was studying nursing.
Anderson’s grandfather, George Anderson of Savannah, Georgia, remembered her as a “kind, considerate child” and a natural leader.
“She was so wonderful, so effervescent,” Anderson said. “Her enthusiasm was so sincere.”
Matthew Shapiro, a former Binghamton nursing student who once lived in the same dormitory as Anderson, remembered her as a bright, compassionate young woman.
“She was really a fierce friend,” said Shapiro, 23. “She lifted people up when they needed it.”
Nassau County police, the FBI in Binghamton, and the police department of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey are assisting with the investigation, Binghamton police said.
Anyone with information is asked to call 607-772-7080 or 607-772-7082.