Retired FAU librarian dies after being beaten, burned by delivery man in Boca

Jorge Lachazo was charged with first degree murder and arson.

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Retired FAU librarian dies after being beaten, burned by delivery man in Boca

Max Jackson | former Staff Photographer

Max Jackson | former Staff Photographer

Max Jackson | former Staff Photographer

Max Jackson | former Staff Photographer

Israel Fontoura, News Editor

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Former FAU librarian Evelyn Smith Udell, 75, died after she was beaten and burned in her home by a delivery man dropping off a washer and dryer just days before her birthday, according to Boca Raton police. 

Police arrested Jorge Lachazo, 21, and charged him with first-degree murder and arson. Lachazo confessed to cocaine and marijuana use earlier in the day.

On Monday morning, Boca Raton Police and Fire Rescue arrived at the scene and found Udell unconscious with burn wounds and trauma injuries. She was transported to Delray Medical Center and died from her injuries the following day.

David Gonzalez, an accompanying delivery driver, walked outside to return phone calls, leaving Lachazo alone with the Udell to discuss the appliances. Gonzalez then heard screams coming from inside the house, according to Boca Police.

Upon entering the home, he found the victim and called 911. Lachazo got in the delivery truck and sped away. A Boca Raton police officer who saw the truck flee the neighborhood later stopped him. 

Gonzalez and Lachazo were delivering the products on behalf of Best Buy, but are employed by JB Hunt, a transportation service. Best Buy CEO Corie Barry issued a statement that the company has severed ties with the JB Hunt and will revisit their delivery policy.

Barry issued this statement before Udell died:

“We are profoundly sorry and offer our deepest sympathies to our customer and her family. Out of respect for them, we have closed our Boca Raton store today. Beyond working with law enforcement in any way we can, we have suspended our relationship with the small, local company that was sub-contracted to deliver to the customer’s home.”

Best Buy’s West Boca store is closed until Friday, August 23rd out of respect for Udell, who retired and would’ve turned 76 next week.

FAU released this statement Tuesday:

“Evelyn will be remembered as a kind, caring and hard-working member of the staff. The University is devastated to hear about Evelyn’s passing. We send our deepest condolences to her family, friends and former colleagues.”

Israel Fontoura is the news editor with the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, follow @israelofontoura on Twitter or email [email protected]