A Popeyes employee has been arrested in the death of a coworker whose body was found at a Popeyes restaurant in Brooklyn Park, Maryland, Anne Arundel County police announced Tuesday.
A manager found the victim, a 25-year employee of the fast food chain, suffering from traumatic injuries around 8 a.m. Sunday in the back stock area of the restaurant on Ritchie Highway, police said.
Luzviminda Monreal, 47, of Laurel, was pronounced dead at the scene.
On Tuesday, police identified the suspect in her murder as Moises Gomez-Castillo, 26, of Brooklyn, Maryland.
Gomez-Castillo was arrested Monday. He has been charged with first- and second-degree murder, first- and second-degree assault, and theft. Police say the motive for the murder was robbery.
They described the victim as a hard-working employee who was involved in her community.
Monreal had worked her way up to night manager. She was known to water the tomato plants in front of the restaurant and the neighboring Pizza Boli's.
Investigators say Monreal worked at the restaurant Saturday night, and that Gomez-Castillo -- who'd worked for Popeyes on and off for about seven years -- planned a robbery based on his knowledge of the management operations of the restaurant.
Police said one theory is that the victim caught the suspect robbing the business. Authorities described the crime scene as "gruesome," over a matter of "dollars."
"We don't know what purpose he needed a sum of money for," said a police spokesperson.
Police said they've recovered numerous pieces of evidence linking Gomez-Castillo to the robbery/murder, including an undisclosed amount of money believed to be taken from the Popeyes.
The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner has determined the cause of Monreal's death to be multiple sharp force injuries. However, police have declined to elaborate on what kind of weapon was used.
Gomez-Castillo is being held at the Anne Arundel County Detention Center on no bond pending a bail review later Tuesday.