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DNA Hit Leads to Arrest in 1987 Murder of Brooklyn Law Firm Employee

By Murray Weiss | July 19, 2012 6:44pm
Lissette Torres
Lissette Torres
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BROOKLYN — The brutal cold case murder of Lissette Torres, a 19-year-old law firm worker who was stabbed to death on New Year's Day in 1987, took a stunning turn this week when a DNA match led to the arrest of her alleged killer, DNAinfo.com New York has learned.

Cops arrested Edwin Alcaide, 53, an ex-con with a long record of violence, in the murder of Torres, who worked in a law firm in Sunset Park after investigators recently retested evidence.

Torres was last seen on New Year's Eve and her body, still dressed in her white coat and pair of white boots, was discovered the following day in the lot of an auto body shop near the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway.

Torres planned to spend the evening with her family, which was their tradition. She called her mother saying she would be there, but never showed up.

An image of Edwin Alcaide from the New York State registry of sex offenders.
An image of Edwin Alcaide from the New York State registry of sex offenders.
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New York State Registry of Sex Offenders

A year and a half ago, the NYPD’s Cold Case Squad renewed its inquiry into the victim's death.

Sources said Torres, who was stabbed numerous times, fought with her attacker, and that turned out to be the key that led to the arrest.

Detectives recently took tissue samples recovered from under her fingernails and ran them again through the state’s DNA databank.

The sample matched Alcaide, who was an acquaintance of Torres’ boyfriend when she went missing. Although he was questioned at the time and had scratches on his face, the NYPD did not charge him.

Alcaide has been in and out of prison for decades for a variety of violent crimes, including a 1975 attempted murder, a 1978 rape and a 1983 robbery. His most recent arrest was for drug dealing in 2010, authorities said.

Since Torres' tragic death, her father Jose, a retired Long Island College Hospital worker, her mother, Rosa, and sister, Lourdes Garcia, visited Torres' grave on Staten Island virtually every month.

And they placed flowers on her grave every New Year’s Day praying that their daughter’s killer would be caught.

In recent years, they placed posters around their neighborhood with photos of their beloved 19-year-old, hoping that someone would provide the answer to her senseless death.