Two indicted in connection with Daniel Cruz’s death

  • The burning body of Daniel Cruz was found March 10 in these fields off Bridge Lane in Hatfield. GAZETTE FILE PHOTO

Thursday, May 10, 2018

NORTHAMPTON — A Hampshire County grand jury has issued indictments against two city women in connection with the death of Daniel Cruz, whose burning, deceased body was found in Hatfield on March 10.

Alondra E. Gil, 22, has been indicted on a charge of perjury, and Mercedes Diaz-Wright, 22, has been indicted on a charge misleading a police officer, according to a release from the Northwestern district attorney’s office.

Northampton police and state police arrested both defendants on warrants, and they were arraigned Wednesday in Hampshire Superior Court. Bail was set at $3,500 for Gil and $10,000 for Diaz-Wright, the district attorney’s office said.

The death of Cruz, 44, of Northampton, is being investigated as a homicide by the state police detectives unit of the district attorney’s office.

His body was found when Hatfield firefighters were called to a field off Bridge Lane for a reported fire at around 9:30 p.m. March 10. 

Bridge Lane turns into a dirt road leading to the dike bordering the Connecticut River.

According to his death certificate, Cruz died from gunshot wounds to the torso and neck. “Thermal injuries” were listed as contributing factors, but did not cause his death. 

Cruz’s death certificate indicated that he worked as a cook at a fast-food restaurant and was never married. 

Cruz’s body was found about two weeks after the remains of murder victim Joanne “Jo” Ringer were found in a wooded area in Hatfield, a year after the Clarksburg woman had been reported missing.

Diaz-Wright’s next date in court is May 16 for a bail hearing. Gil’s next date in court is June 23 for a pre-trial hearing.