Seventh victim identified in New Britain serial killings as Waterbury mom of 2

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NEW BRITAIN -- The Connecticut State Forensic Lab and the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner have identified the remains of a seventh victim in the New Britain serial killings.

Marilyn Gonzalez was last seen May 15, 2003 near her home on Hillside Avenue in Waterbury at around 10:25 p.m. She was born on October 16, 1976 and was 26 at the time she went missing.

The missing persons poster that Waterbury Police released at the time describes Gonzalez as a Hispanic woman, 5-foot-1, 150 pounds with black hair and brown eyes. She had a tattoo of a heart with the initials "A" and "T" inside of it in black ink on her right shoulder.

Marilyn Gonzalez

Marilyn Gonzalez

Gonzalez was a mother of two when she went missing. Her children were 11 and 7 at the time. Now, 12 years later, she would be a grandmother to an 8-month-old if she were here.

Police announced in May that remains from seven different victims had been found in the wooded area behind 593 Hartford Road in New Britain. Gonzalez's remains are the last to be identified.

William Devin Howell is currently serving time behind bars after being convicted in 2007 on first-degree manslaughter charges in connection to the death of Wethersfield mom, Nilsa Arizmendi, who is one of the seven victims whose remains were found in New Britain.

The other five victims include: Diane Cusack, Joyvaline Martinez, Mary Jane Menard, Melanie Ruth Camilini and Danny Lee Whistnant. All seven went missing in 2003.

When Howell, 45, was convicted in 2007, police linked him to Arizmendi with a blood stain in the back of a van he was driving when she vanished in 2003.

William Devin Howell / Credit: DOC

William Devin Howell / Credit: DOC

Howell was initially charged with her murder, but he accepted a plea agreement to the lesser manslaughter charge. Based on court documents, Howell says he didn’t kill Arizmendi, but acknowledges police had enough evidence to convict him if there was a murder trial.

However, that could change.

After weeks of digging, police found the bones of four more people in a wooded area off Route 9, the same place where remains of three women were discovered in 2007. Police identified the newly discovered victims as Melanie Ruth Camilini, Danny Lee Whistnant and Nilsa Arizmendi.

The remains just identified by police are the seventh and final victim found in that location.

new britain serial killer victimsPolice said all seven victims went missing in 2003, and even though it is believed they were all killed by the same person, investigators stopped short of saying Howell is responsible.

Chief James Wardwell says he expects the investigation will culminate in a matter of months, so the wait won't be forever.

Most of the victims’ families have remained private during the investigation, except for one. On Monday, the family of Joyvaline Martinez attended the latest police briefing to offer condolences to the family of Marilyn Gonzalez.

"He will pay for what he did to my sister and to the rest of the people,” Martinez’s sister, Sandra Martinez, said in reference to Howell.

Sandra Martinez said that her youngest son is dedicating his high school graduation cap to his aunt Joyvaline.