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Report: Man Sexually Assaulted, Fatally Beat Victim Then Set Her On Fire

A Manchester man was arrested Friday after he allegedly broke into an apartment Jan. 18 where he sexually assaulted and fatally beat the 56-year-old female occupant — and then set her on fire, according to a Hartford Courant report.

Credit: Patch file photo
Credit: Patch file photo
A 21-year-old Manchester man is in police custody after he allegedly broke into a Park Street apartment building Jan. 18, where he sexually assaulted and fatally beat the 56-year-old female occupant — and then set her on fire, according to a Hartford Courant report. 

Steven Durdek Jr. was arrested by Manchester Police on Friday and charged with felony murder, murder, first-degree arson, first-degree burglary, first-degree sexual assault and tampering with physical evidence. 

According to The Courant report, Durdek sexually assaulted Sarah Kelloway in her bed and then beat her to death with implements he found in the apartment

Durdek then, with lighter fluid he found in the apartment, lit Kelloway's body on fire, police said.

He is being held on a $1 million bail bond as he awaits his next appearance in Manchester Superior Court on Tuesday.

To solve the case, local police worked together with state investigators.

At the time of his arrest, The Courant reports that Durdek was a client of Manchester Alternative in the Community, according to its website, the program "monitors individuals referred by the criminal justice system to community supervision."

"It restricts the offender's freedom without incarceration to protect public safety and, at the same time, establishes positive ties between the community and the offender," the website reads. "Clients attend self-help groups, informational workshops, perform community service, and work with staff to effect positive change."

Patti Parrott February 18, 2014 at 11:15 AM
I would call that an Epic FAIL as to protecting public safety.

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