A man pleaded guilty to killing his Rockville, Maryland, neighbors on Mother’s Day, 2015, before leaving on a cruise with his parents.
Scott Tomaszewski pleaded guilty to two counts of first degree murder, admitting that he killed and robbed Richard and Jody Vilardo. Jody Vilardo’s body was found in the kitchen with eight stab wounds, while Richard Vilardo was found on the patio after being stabbed 42 times.
Police said Tomesczewski broke in to the home through a ground floor window and attacked the sleeping couple in their bed, starting with Richard Vilardo. Jody Vilardo managed to run downstairs but died after Tomesczewski stabbed her as she tried to call for help.
Investigators said Richard Vilardo put up a fight.
"Whether it was the bathroom or in the closet or in the bedroom, there was nowhere you could walk in this house and not see evidence of the attack," said John McCarthy, state's attorney for Montgomery County.
Police began looking at past burglaries in the neighborhood. Another neighbor’s home had been recently burglarized, and Tomesczewski was seen on surveillance video pawning some of the items taken from that neighbor’s home.
When he was developed as a suspect, he was on a cruise with his parents on the Pacific Coast, a trip he left on within hours of killing the Vilardos. When the ship docked in Alaska, he was met by detectives, who found a knife with traces of Richard Vilardos’ blood and money also bearing traces of the victims’ blood.
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"He ran toward the danger rather than away from it, because he was attempting to save the woman that he loved," said McCarthy.
Tomesczewski faces a life sentence without parole. He will be sentenced in November.