Police arrested a Connecticut man on Friday charged with the brutal murder of his 11-month-old daughter, culminating a two-week manhunt involving the FBI in a case a police official called “horrible and macabre”.
On Friday afternoon, officials arrested Christopher Francisquini, 31, in Waterbury, Conn., a town about six miles north of the town of Naugatuck, where he was charged with killing his then-elderly daughter 11-month-old Camilla, who was found dead of neck compressions and stab wounds and dismembered Nov. 18 at Francisquini’s home, the police said.
Naugatuck Police Chief Colin McAllister told reporters Friday night that Waterbury police arrested Francisquini shortly after 3 p.m. after a citizen who believed he recognized Francisquini at a bus stop at 400 Grand Street , had called the police to report the sighting. Francisquini had altered his appearance but was still recognizable, McAllister said.
A video shared by the Naugatuck Police Department shows armed officers circling Francisquini at the bus station and demanding he get down on the ground before stepping in to arrest him.
Francisquini is being held on $5 million bail, McAllister said, adding that he will appear in Waterbury Superior Court for a hearing on Monday morning.
Two week manhunt
The Naugatuck Police Department obtained an arrest warrant for Francisquini for murder with special circumstances and risk of bodily harm to a minor two days after Camilla was found dead. The FBI said the child was stabbed to death and offered $25,000 for information leading to Francisquini’s arrest and conviction, noting he ‘should be considered armed, dangerous and mentally unstable’ .
It was not immediately clear whether the person who called the tip on Friday would receive that reward. A spokesperson for the FBI’s New Haven field office did not immediately respond to a request.
McAllister told reporters authorities could not rule out additional charges or further arrests as they were still investigating Francisquini’s whereabouts over the past two weeks.
“We cannot rule out that there may be additional arrests if we can determine that someone was assisting or assisting him,” the police chief said.
McAllister said the officers handling the case were “driven by their commitment to bringing justice to little Camilla.”
“They will continue to carry this case with them, probably for the rest of their lives – it is something that will not be forgotten by any member of this agency, simply because of the nature of this case,” he added.
Authorities also credited community members with helping facilitate Francisquini’s arrest.
“Francisquini’s capture is a clear example of what can be accomplished when community members work with law enforcement to remove dangerous individuals from the streets,” the department said in a tweet late Friday. “Within 28 hours of seeking public assistance, he was taken into custody without incident and will now face justice.”
A “long criminal past”
Prior to his arrest, Francisquini was reportedly last seen Nov. 18, when police say security video captured him walking down Quinnipiac Avenue in New Haven. Police also said Francisquini abandoned a gray 2006 Chevrolet Impala he was driving on Interstate 91 in New Haven near Exit 8 shortly after the alleged murder, NBC Connecticut reported.
McAllister said Francisquini and Camilla’s birth mother were in a dispute in Waterbury on the morning of the alleged murder, and authorities believe Camilla was killed before the dispute.
He also said earlier in the inquest that police arrived at the gruesome scene of the alleged murder after someone in the house called 911 to report Camilla was dead.
Francisquini, who McAllister said has a “long criminal history,” was on special parole when he allegedly committed the crime, and he was wearing a court-ordered tracking device that he allegedly cut off on the day of the crime. suspected murder, McAllister said. Special parole is an additional period of supervision that a judge can order someone to serve as part of their sentence after serving their maximum prison term, according to information from the Connecticut Office of Legislative Research.
Court records show Francisquini was sentenced to 10 years in prison and 10 years of special parole on a first-degree assault charge in 2013. He has also been arrested on several other counts since then, including including a misdemeanor charge of interfering with an officer. this year, for which he was sentenced to unconditional release.
It was not immediately clear how much prison time Francisquini had served before Friday’s arrest.
“She mostly smiled”
Camilla was laid to rest in a private ceremony on November 26 “surrounded by her family and loved ones”, police posted on social media that day, along with a photo of Camilla.
“We recognize that a loss like this has a profound impact on both our officers and our community,” the message said.
Saturday — the day after Francisquini’s arrest — would have been Camilla’s first birthday, according to a tweet posted by the Naugatuck Police Department. Locals gathered at a vigil in Naugatuck honoring the baby, NBC Connecticut reported.
“I tried not to cry and everything, because I just want to keep my baby smiling and laughing,” Camilla’s mom, Kristyl, said at the wake, according to NBC Connecticut. “That’s all she did. She barely cried. She mostly laughed. She mostly smiled.”