Carlos Cruz Echeverria Murdered as He Helped Man Hired to Kill Him
Daytona Beach, Florida – According to ClickOrlando, Police found the body of Carlos Cruz Echeverria on November 11, 2017. He had been shot multiple times in the head. At the time, he was scheduled to give a deposition for a road rage incident that was set for trial on Dec 7. But Police thought the 60 year old Army veteran was robbed for his truck as he helped a stranded motorist. In actuality, he was the victim of a murder-for-hire plot. The suspects were arrested this week.
The road rage incident
Cruz-Echevarria was stopped behind Kelsey McFoley at a red light. When the light turned green, McFoley didn’t move, so Carlos honked his horn and went around him. McFoley then pulled alongside Carlos and brandished a gun. Echeverria took down his license number, which led to McFoley’s arrest for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and improper exhibition of a firearm. He was looking at some serious prison time.
Murder for hire
McFoley hired Benjamin Bascom to kill Echeverria. The stolen truck he was using to surveill Echevarria got stuck in a ditch – that part was unplanned. As Carlos bent down to help him out, Bascom shot him multiple times and stole his truck, crashing it later, then burning it.
The road rage case was dismissed because the only witness was dead.
DNA left at the scene of the murder led police to Benjamin Bascom. Cell phone data linked him to McFoley and another conspirator, Melissa Rios Roque, who was McFoley’s girlfriend. Bascom was arrested on Wednesday at the airport, McFoley while at work Tuesday, and Rios Roque on I-4 in Volusia County on Tuesday.
Echeverria was said to be well respected in the community. His brother-in-law is a deputy with the Volusia County Sheriff.
“I’ve been a cop for 32 years, this is one of the most heinous, despicable, cowardly acts that I’ve ever witnessed, and it’s also probably one of the greatest police work that I’ve ever witnessed in my career…Carlos did not deserve to die. You’ve got a pack of animals who once again illustrate that human life is cheap on the street. A road rage incident where a man does what he’s supposed to do — notify the police, cooperate with the system — and his thanks is to end up with multiple bullets in his head, killed just outside of his home.” Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood
The three suspects are not cooperating with police, according to news accounts.
Featured photo via Volusia county Sheriff’s office. Left to right: Kelsey McFoley, Benjamin Bascom, Melissa Rios Roque