This story originally aired Dateline NBC on March 14, 2008.
SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO — Its nickname says it all -- Isla del Encanto -- the island of enchantment. With its beguiling beaches, pulsating beat and vibrant culture, Puerto Rico is a tourist favorite -- a little American paradise in the Caribbean.
But there's also a murky undertow here. It's a place where appearances can deceive, where major crimes can go unsolved. A place that can be deadly.
It was a balmy midnight in September, 2005, when San Juan police found the body of a 32-year-old man crumpled on a cobblestone street in the heart of the city's tourist district. His wife had been injured too, and rushed to the hospital. But someone had made very sure the man was dead -- he'd been stabbed multiple times, his skull crushed.
Sara James: Is that the wound that killed him?
Superintendent Toledo: Yeah. Smashed everything. Destroyed his brain.
Adam Anhang, a multi-millionaire entrepreneur originally from Canada was by all accounts an honorable man and beloved.
Glorivil Rosario: A very special human being was killed that night. He's not a dog.
Roberto Cacho: And the brutality of the murder. These guys went in to kill him and to make sure he didn't survive.
Adam was one of 766 homicides in Puerto Rico that year. This tiny commonwealth has a murder rate three times that of New York City. But anyone who thought Adam’s murder would get lost in a sea of other investigations would be wrong, because they'd have underestimated the astounding power of a parent's anguish.
Abe Anhang: Whoever did this, did they ever think I wouldn't come after them?
Just how Adam’s father Abe would do that, and where the trail would lead, would send shivers up the spines of some who were closest to Adam. Abe's relentless quest would also capture the attention of the Puerto Rican government.
But to fully understand the drive of this real estate developer, you need to know about his prize son, whom he and his wife Barbara felt certain was bound for greatness -- even from the beginning.`
Barbara Anhang: He was always very curious about everything around him. Adam would always want to carry a little brief case -- just like his dad.
Abe Anhang: I never remember him as a little boy. He was a little man.
A little man with an extraordinary eye for business. In their only TV interview, Adam’s parents told my colleague Edie Magnus that Adam spotted commercial opportunities even on family trips, like the one they toOK to the Great Wall of China.
Abe Anhang: Lo and behold, we see a man pushing what appeared to be a wheelchair. It turned out it wasn't a wheelchair. The man was a barber, and his business was-- he had his barber chair.
Edie Magnus: He had a traveling barber chair?
Abe Anhang: A traveling barber chair. And Adam said, "Now there's an idea."
In college, Adam majored in finance, naturally, and then became a top graduate student at the prestigious Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.
Peter Linneman was one of Adam’s professors. He would also become one of Adam’s closest friends.
Peter Linneman: Adam Anhang was the full package. He had the intelligence that was extraordinary. He had the energy. He had the passion. He had entrepreneurship. But he also, at a very early age, understood the importance of people.
Adam wasn't long out of school when he launched several successful businesses, including an internet gambling site, which helped make him a multi-millionaire.
Adam's achievements also helped make him one of his alma mater's favorite guest lecturers.
How many men in this room are single? How many women do you have to ask before they agree to go out with you? OK, the nature of being an entrepreneur is that you're constantly pitching some idea. I know you're very successful--
But as visionary as Adam was about business, professor Linneman said that his young friend was horribly shortsighted when it came to Romance.
Peter Linneman: He had a capacity of getting himself into situations that weren't going to end well relationship-wise.
Video: 'Adam loved to teach' Adam did have a college sweetheart but even that toOK a miserable turn. Just two weeks after the then 23-year-old boy-wonder married his college sweetheart, she dropped a bombshell.
Abe Anhang: The young lady told Adam that she had made a mistake, and she didn't want to be married anymore.
Barbara Anhang: He was absolutely devastated.
Abe Anhang: Possibly explains his addiction to work afterwards.
In addition to his own ventures, Adam traveled worldwide as a financial analyst and problem solver.
That's how he met Janice Vallely. He helped the now-retired Miami hotelier refinance her business. Typical of Adam, he also gained a friend and confidant.
Janice Vallely: I think that was very much the core of our friendship.
Theirs would prove to be a fateful connection.
Sara James: What toOK him to Puerto Rico?
Janice Vallely: I did.
Even today, it still haunts Janice that she steered Adam to a business venture there in December 2000.
Janice Vallely: There was nothing in his life that would have ever brought him into that arena except that phone call that I made to him.
Sara James: Are you saying that you feel responsible?
Janice Vallely: I feel accountable.
Along with a partner, we control about $200 million dollars in real estate in Puerto Rico.
From the moment Adam set foot in Puerto Rico, he was swept away by the island and its real estate potential.
Barbara Anhang: He said, "LoOK at that skyline, mom and dad. It loOKs like a big smile, doesn't it? But with some teeth missing. And you know what I’d like to do? I'd like to fill in the teeth with my projects, and make the smile full again."
Roberto Cacho: We were going to go and conquer the world...
Roberto Cacho was Adam’s business partner in Puerto Rico. He said that while they made beautiful business together, the island proved to be an awkward social fit for the younger man.
Roberto Cacho: I think he was lonely here at first. Adam moved here, didn't have a friend of his own other than mine.
That changed the night in 2003 when Adam met a lively local woman in a bar. Soon after, Adam introduced 23-year-old Aurea Vasquez, a one-time beauty pageant contestant, to his parents, who were visiting the island.
Barbara Anhang: She was a very attractive young woman.
Abe Anhang: She knew how to talk business, which was something that attracted Adam, I’m sure.
Adam's younger sister Becky also met her once.
Becky: I think that she was a lot of fun. And that he was working very hard in Puerto Rico and that he liked being with someone who was a lot of fun to hang out with when he had the time to have fun.
Had true love finally come to Adam Anhang? He and Aurea moved in to a big house together in late 2004. Adam even bought her a small restaurant in old San Juan to manage called Pink Skirt. In March 2005, they married in a small civil ceremony.
Abe Anhang: We found out about it after he was married, about a month after.
Edie Magnus: He didn't tell you ahead of time?
Abe Anhang: No, he didn't. It was a surprise.
In the final hours of his life, wealthy entrepreneur Adam Anhang and his wife of six months dined at the Dragonfly -- a trendy restaurant in old San Juan.
The restaurant's security camera actually captured the couple entering the restaurant. Around 11:45, we see Adam and Aurea leave the Dragonfly. Before retrieving Adam’s car, they made a detour, briefly stopping at Pink Skirt, that restaurant that Adam had bought for his wife. When they left, Adam didn't know it, but he was enjoying his last breaths.
Just short of the indoor lot, eyewitnesses said, a man sprang out of the shadows -- attacking Adam with a long bladed knife.
"Please stop," one eyewitness heard Adam gasp. With Aurea at his side, he attempted to struggle with the attacker, but was rapidly overpowered, wounded in the chest, back, face, and head.
Aurea got hit in the head too, though she never lost consciousness. An ambulance would rush her to the hospital, and Adam would be pronounced dead on the scene.
Roberto Cacho: I heard about his murder about 6 a.m. When I turned on the news, I was numb.
Adam's thunderstruck real estate partner Roberto Cacho guessed that Adam’s immediate family hadn't yet heard. Reluctantly, he called Adam’s sister Becky in Boston.
Becky: And I remember saying, "What?" over and over again. And that I was kneeling very close to the ground and shaking very violently. And I picked up the phone to call my parents, not knowing what I was going to say. And my dad picked up the phone and he said, "Good morning, sweetheart." And he sounded so excited to hear from me and he said, "How are you?" and I said, “Not very good, dad. Adam was killed." And I remember that he gasped over and over and over again. And then he paused and he said, "I don't know how I’m going to tell your mother."
Barbara Anhang: They concluded their phone call and Abe came into the room where I was and said, "Dear, our son has been killed."
Becky: I will never forgive the people who forced me to make that phone call to my dad that morning.
The Anhangs were first told that Adam and his wife had been the victims of a violent robbery. But soon after, they heard differently -- when it became clear no wallets or money had been taken from Adam or Aurea.
Adam's bereft father Abe was in indescribable pain.
Abe Anhang: Someone had stolen my life.
But someone had stolen Aurea's husband, too. One of the first calls Abe made was to the family of his daughter-in-law.
Abe Anhang: And her mother answered. She was icy and chilly. There was no condolence, there was no "I’m sorry." There was nothing. She said, "I’ll get Marcy" -- the other daughter-- to call me back. And she never did.
Abe didn’t have time to decipher their strange behavior. He was more concerned with the state of Adam’s murder investigation. A quick study, Abe learned overnight that Puerto Rico has a higher homicide rate than almost every major city in the U.S. It’s a place where, as Puerto Rico's police chief admits, crime witnesses are often afraid to come forward.
Supt. Toledo: We have many people that are witnesses to murders, to criminal action. And they loOK the other way. We can't find sometimes witnesses.
It's so notoriously difficult to press charges here that it's given rise to a shocking expression -- that in Puerto Rico, a killer's first murder is "free." But Adam’s father had no intention of letting the person -- or persons -- responsible for killing his son get away with murder.
Worried the investigation would languish, Abe Anhang made a fateful decision. He flew to Puerto Rico, intending to learn for himself what happened. He started by visiting the very intersection where his only son was killed.
Abe offered a reward for information leading to his son's killer or killers. But, strangely, the man Abe hired to put up the reward signs said his efforts were being sabotaged.
Abe Anhang: He said, "I can't put them up fast enough. They're taking them down."
He also petitioned government officials, trying to impress upon them that Adam’s murder was not just a family tragedy, but one for Puerto Rico as well.
Abe Anhang: Number one, it's unjust. But, more importantly, for commercial reasons, do they want to give the message to the world that it's unsafe for businessmen to come to Puerto Rico to do business?
Senator Jorge de Castro font: This hurts Puerto Rico. It hurts business in Puerto Rico.
Abe got the attention of Adam’s friend, and one of Puerto Rico’s most prominent senators, Jorge de Castro font.
Senator de Castro font: We are trying to help him. And we are going to help him.
The senator put Abe in touch with Puerto Rico’s police chief.
Toledo: I understand him and I would do the same thing if it was my son.
Chief Pedro Toledo said Adam’s case was a high priority. He also said police got lucky. They had two eyewitnesses courageous enough to come forward. The most solid was a lawyer who'd been dining in old San Juan that night, and found himself just 10 feet from the murder.
According to the chief, this witness got a good loOK at the killer. He described him as heavyset, between 5'8" and 5'10", sporting a mustache and small beard, and what loOKed to be an inch-long ponytail. The witness also said that when his eyes met with the killers, the man stopped beating Adam and ran off in the direction of a nearby slum called La Perla.
Three weeks after Adam’s murder, police arrested a man who fit that description.
His name: Jonathan Roman.
But why would this 22-year-old restaurant worker -- or anyone else -- want to kill Adam Anhang?
Roberto Cacho: I’m not aware he had any enemies -- not one.
In the first weeks after his wealthy son's incomprehensible murder, Abe Anhang went loOKing for clues that could explain accused killer Jonathan Roman's attack on Adam and his wife Aurea. In talking to Adam’s associates in Puerto Rico, Abe got an earful -- not about Roman, whom they didn't know, but about the daughter-in-law Abe had met only a couple of times. It wasn't pretty. In fact, it turned out, the marriage had been falling apart.
Jorge: I never believe that there was a true love in that relation--
Sara James: What did he see in her?
Jorge: Such a beautiful woman. Nice shape, nice body.
Senator de Castro font knew Aurea before she met his friend Adam, and remembers her as a warm, attractive party-goer who was thrilled to be going out with a multi-millionaire.
Senator de Castro font: I told her, "You hit the jackpot, huh?"
Sara James: What did she say when you said, "You hit--"
Senator de Castro font: Say, "Well you know, he's taking care of me and I like it-- his way of living and traveling a lot and his buying me this. And he's buying a new car, a Porsche.”
Sara James: But she said, 'I love him'--
Senator de Castro font: Never say that, "I love him," no.
Adam's business partner Roberto Cacho told Abe that when Adam married Aurea, her standard of living increased tenfold.
Roberto Cacho: He bought her a nightclub, a little place called Pink Skirt. Bought her a car, then bought her another car, then rented a large house. She moved her family in. They all lived off Adam.
If Aurea had been such a transparent gold digger, Abe couldn't understand why his blue-chip son would have married her, and so quickly. More unsettling was that the Anhangs were a close knit family, yet none of them had been invited to the wedding. Nor had any of Adam’s many close personal friends.
One of them, Janice Vallely from Florida, told Abe what Adam confided to her: Aurea and her family had pressed him hard for a speedy wedding because Aurea said she was pregnant.
Janice Vallely: The pressure was that there was no other option but that she would have that child, and because they were citing religious beliefs.
Sara James: She was Catholic?
Janice Vallely: Yes.
But that's not all she told Abe. Janice said when Adam called her again a few weeks later, he was devastated.
Janice Vallely: He said, “I must be the most stupid man in the world.”
Her friend, who prided himself on his shrewd business acumen, said he'd been duped.
Janice Vallely: He told me that there was no baby and that he felt like he'd fallen for the oldest trick in the boOK.
Sara James: You don't think she made a mistake--
Janice Vallely: No.
Sara James: --miscalculated, said, "Honey, we really need--"
Janice Vallely: No.
Sara James: "--to get married."
Janice Vallely: No.
Sara James: And then later learned--
Janice Vallely: No---
Sara James: "Oh, I’m not really pregnant."
Janice Vallely: I think she was strictly predatory.
Sara James: What do you think she wanted?
Janice Vallely: Money.
Abe said that information about Aurea’s alleged pregnancy helped him understand why his son so impetuously married, and why the marriage so quickly dissolved.
Two months after Adam married Aurea, he moved out of the couple's new home and into an apartment near his office.
Adam's former secretary, Glorivil Rosario, said Aurea would show up and hound Adam.
Glorivil Rosario: These offices here don't have any doors, so it's really inevitable to hear what somebody is saying, especially if there is screaming.
John: What were the fights generally about?
Glorivil Rosario: Most of them were about money. She would come by and ask for money.
Glorivil helped Adam draw up the legal papers for a proposed divorce -- something Aurea was resistant to. Glorivil said Adam was resigned to offering Aurea much more than the monthly allowance stipulated in the couple's pre-nuptial agreement, but he worried Aurea still wouldn't be satisfied.
Glorivil Rosario: And I think he feared her. I honestly believe that he did. Her, her family, her friends.
Glorivil said Adam told her that Aurea had the "muscle" to intimidate.
Glorivil Rosario: Adam had expressed that he had fear of her underworld knowledge. I guess she had these shady characters that are in some way drug related that would come down to her business.
While some of this was new to Abe, he had sensed his son's anxiety following the marriage breakup.
Abe Anhang: His partner and I both insisted on him getting security.
So Adam hired a bodyguard, and put him on around-the-clock retainer. It was Carlos Torado, who said he quickly understood that Aurea was a handful.
Sara James: He didn't trust her.
Carlos: When your wife uses your car and you search your car before you use it -- there's no trust there.
Sara James: Searched for what?
Carlos: Drugs. More than once we found envelopes with cOKe. He was afraid she would be setting him up.
Sara James: He was afraid she'd try to get him arrested.
Roberto Cacho: Every time he went to see his wife, he went with a bodyguard. I mean that tells me something about how fearful he was.
Business partner Roberto Cacho said in September 2005, just two days before the murder, Adam sent him an email saying, “I’m a little scared.”
Roberto Cacho: Which I answered saying, “Just stay inside, don't go out. Don't do anything stupid.”
Any jitters Adam might have had were not apparent in the boardroom. Two days after that email, he wrapped up one of his biggest business deals ever. The first person with whom he shared his excitement was his father Abe.
Abe Anhang: He was so delighted that I thought to myself, here's a kid who just hit a homerun. And I didn't realize that he wouldn't get to run the bases.
Nor did Abe know what was next up on Adam’s agenda. According to Roberto Cacho, Aurea had phoned, wanting to go to dinner with Adam that very night in old San Juan, ready, she said, to discuss a settlement package.
Roberto Cacho: Which seemed a real turn of events because before she said she'd never divorce him, she'd never let him go until he paid her huge amounts of money.
Carlos: She shows up an hour before the time they were supposed to meet...
Adam's bodyguard said he knew how volatile Aurea could be, and suggested to Adam that he take a table at the restaurant, too.
Carlos: He said it would be OK. He said they'd be going someplace where there would be people close by to make sure that no problems arose.
Sara James: And what did you say?
Carlos: With Adam you said, “yes sir” and, you said “I’ll see you in the morning.”
Every few weeks, since his son's savage murder in September 2005, Abe Anhang has logged a grinding, 6,000-mile commute between Puerto Rico and his home in Canada. During dozens of trips, he's watched, listened, rattled cages, dug up witnesses. Against colossal odds, this slightly built Don Quixote has been trying to unmask the truth, and working toward the day that his son's accused killer will finally go on trial.
Abe Anhang: There's a lot of the information out there is not even available with the authorities. People are afraid to speak up. And I’m the repository of that information.
Warned to protect himself against potential reprisals for his detective work, Abe kept his guard up -- including changing hotel rooms nightly.
Abe Anhang: Stressful. Stressful.
Edie Magnus: And all of this is worth risking your life?
Abe Anhang: Do I have a choice? Do I have a choice?
The deeper he dug, the more convinced Abe became that Jonathan Roman, the 22-year-old charged with the murder, could not have acted alone. He became highly suspicious of Adam’s estranged wife Aurea.
Abe Anhang: I’d like to have her tell us we're wrong.
In fact, spouses are often suspects in murder cases, especially when the victim was in the middle of a messy divorce, as Adam had been.
But in this case, Aurea was also a victim. She'd been with Adam when he was killed and had been hurt in the attack, suffering a gash that required six stitches and two fractures around her right eye.
Aurea said her head injuries caused seizures and dizziness. But Abe said he learned that his daughter-in-law's injuries might not have been as serious as she'd portrayed them.
Abe Anhang: They tried to discharge her from the hospital and she refused to leave time and again.
Puerto Rico’s police chief confirmed this.
Toledo: It was not that bad, you know.
Toledo questioned whether Aurea really needed to spend almost two weeks in the hospital.
Sara James: Why would she do that?
Toledo: I don't know. I don't know.
Sara James: Does that seem very curious to you?
Equally curious to Abe was the fact that after briefly talking to police in the hospital, Aurea refused to be interviewed by investigators.
Abe Anhang: The question is that if she was being attacked. Aside from her lack of love perhaps for our son, why wouldn't she want to find the murderer or the perpetrator of the attack on her.
Toledo: Under our constitution, the U.S. Constitution, you have the right to an attorney and not to answer any questions.
Sara James: So, she suited up. She got an attorney right away.
Toledo: Oh yes.
And remember those reward posters that were ripped down? Abe got word that it was Aurea’s family members who had done it.
Abe Anhang: I was told that running behind the fellow who's putting up the posters were Auri's brother and sister taking them down.
Someone even took down the posters at Aurea’s restaurant -- Pink Skirt.
But there was something else even more ominous that gnawed at Adam’s father.
Jonathan Roman, the 22-year-old restaurant worker who'd been arrested for Adam’s murder, had connections to Aurea’s family. Police told us he worked at her restaurant. In fact, the day he was arrested, police found him at Pink Skirt talking at the bar to Aurea’s maid. Aurea's sister was also there, and advised Roman not to answer any questions. On top of that, Roman had been quickly outfitted with a high-priced criminal lawyer and the money to make bail.
Abe Anhang: Somehow this guy who didn't have five cents to rub together would be out on bail within a few hours and he would never spend 20 minutes in jail.
But that wasn't the half of it. Abe would learn that Jonathan Roman's new attorney was also Aurea’s family attorney. He was incredulous. If Aurea really was one of the victims, why share an attorney with her accused attacker?
Abe Anhang: It was such a blatant conflict of interest which I brought to the court's attention. The judge wouldn't -- couldn't understand why the lawyer hadn't disqualified himself. That's how surprised the judge was.
While there was no hard and fast evidence connecting Aurea to the crime, Abe said he didn't want to be naive either. After all, Aurea stood to gain a lot more as Adam’s widow than as his ex-wife.
Abe Anhang: He was killed because the people around Auri somehow convinced themselves there was a great pool of money to be had if they could eliminate him as quickly as possible. And they would share the booty with her.
Edie Magnus: That's a heck of an accusation?
Abe Anhang: I just made it, haven't I? But anybody who says I’m wrong, step forward.
Abe Anhang was convinced that his son's estranged wife was somehow responsible for his murder.
As executor of his son's estate, Abe decided not to give his daughter-in-law any money from it, pointing out she wasn't named in Adam’s will.
But Aurea wasn't about to agree to that.
On the very day that Jonathan Roman was indicted for murdering Adam, Abe found himself being served with a lawsuit. Aurea had sued the Anhangs for her share in what she figured was a $24 million inheritance.
How did Abe respond?
By filing a civil suit against his daughter-in-law -- essentially accusing her of engineering Adam’s murder.
Abe Anhang: Now if you want to prove your case, step forward. But without proving your case you can't-- you can't get anything. So come on out. You want to have some money, my dear, come on out.
As part of a civil suit, Aurea would be required by law to take the stand and finally answer questions about Adam’s murder.
Abe Anhang: We'd love to see her. Let's hear her story.
But it appeared Aurea wasn't ready to do that -- at least not yet. Seven months after the murder, she left town, which she had every right to do.
Sara James: Do you have a lot of questions, for Aurea?
Toledo: Yes, we do. We do, yes.
Sara James: But she answered a single one?
Toldeo: But she's out of the country. We can't do anything. Right now, she's not even considered a suspect, legally.
When we paid an unannounced visit to Aurea’s mother to try to track her daughter down, Mrs. Vasquez was at first upset to see us, but she finally agreed to talk through a barred gate.
She told us that Aurea left the country because she was scared.
Sara James: Who is she afraid of?
Mother: I don't know. It will come out in court.
Aurea's mother wouldn't be more specific, but said her daughter loved Adam and that neither one of them had wanted a divorce.
Sara James: Why would Adam tell his parents and his friends that he wanted a divorce if he didn't want a divorce?
Mother: I don't know about that.
Sara James: The police have been very anxious to talk to her. If she loved her husband so much, why won't she want to help police by talking to them?
Mother: Because as soon as he was murdered, the news was pointing the finger at her, and she's the victim. So tell me -- who's going to help her? The police?
Ms. Vasquez told us Aurea was in Italy, studying documentary filmmaking.
We were more successful catching up with the accused killer than we were with Aurea.
In March 2007, 17 months after his arrest, we met Jonathan Roman in a city plaza, three blocks from where Adam was murdered. Free on bail, Roman complained about the ankle bracelet police used to track his whereabouts.
Agreeing to be interviewed, he took us to his home in La Perla, San Juan’s infamous slum. It's also the neighborhood where, the key eyewitness said, the killer ran after the attack.
Sara James: Did you know Aurea Vasquez?
Roman: No. I don't know anybody.
Video: Grittier side of San Juan Roman started by saying that he'd never met Aurea, nor had he ever worked at her restaurant. On the advice of his attorney, who was present at the interview, Roman wouldn't explain why he was at the restaurant on the day of his arrest. But he was willing to answer this crucial question.
Sara James: Did you murder Adam Anhang?
Sara James: Did you have anything to do with the murder of Adam Anhang?
Sara James: Were you there when Adam Anhang was murdered?
Sara James: You believe that this is one giant mistake?
If Roman thought the accusation against him was a big mistake, the prosecution would try to prove otherwise. Almost two years after his arrest, a trial date was scheduled for September 2007. But a month before opening arguments, Aurea Vasquez came home for a few days. Our camera crew spotted her -- flanked by her mother and an attorney.
Question: Did you conspire to murder your husband?
Aurea had returned to Puerto Rico to finally answer questions about what happened the night of her husband's murder, not to authorities but to Abe’s attorneys. Why? As part of her lawsuit claiming she deserves part of her husband's multi-million dollar estate, a judge ordered her to testify in a deposition.
We weren't privy to what Aurea told them, but ever since, Abe Anhang has been determinedly mining her interview for clues.
Abe Anhang: In order for her to succeed, she has to put forward a plausible version of what happened and I don't think she's done so and I don't think she will be able to do so.
Gimara Gabriel Maysonet: You have here a person that has given so much to the community. He's very loved from his friends, his family.
These prosecutors in Puerto Rico never met Adam Anhang, but the more they learned about him, the more dismayed they became by the young entrepreneur’s murder and the viciousness of the crime.
Sara James: It outraged you.
Prosecutors: Yes. So much, so much.
In September 2007, two years after the murder, prosecutors finally got their day in court.
While Jonathan Roman was on trial for killing Adam, much of the prosecution's case focused on someone else -- someone who had never been charged -- Adam’s wife Aurea.
Prosecutors were clearly alluding to Aurea when they began by telling the jury about the final, fateful day of Adam’s life. It started with the couple's visit to their marriage counselor.
Gimara: Adam decide that he wants a divorce.
Adam's secretary Glorvil then took the stand to say that a few hours later, Aurea called to say she wanted to go to dinner with Adam to finalize the divorce package. Glorvil also reported something she'd already told us.
Milagros: The testimony of the secretary to the jury was that Adam was afraid of the contacts that Aurea had with the underworld.
Then prosecutors called their key eyewitness: the attorney who'd been in old San Juan that night, and found himself just 10 feet from the attack on Adam.
Milagros: When my partner asked the witness how sure he was that Jonathan Roman was the killer he said as sure as I sleep quietly and peacefully every night.
But what had been Roman's motive? Why had he killed a man he never met? Prosecutors seemed to be trying to suggest a link to Aurea. A chef who'd worked at her restaurant didn't confirm whether or not Roman had worked there, but testified he did remember seeing Roman in the restaurant some weeks prior to the murder.
Gimara: Our jury is a very intelligent jury and we asked them to look further.
Toward that end, the lead detective testified about Aurea’s unwillingness to talk to authorities or help them find her husband's killer.
Gimara: Why she doesn't want to talk, when we don't have any suspect on the case -- when you are just investigating -- she never speak out!
The detective also explained how a few weeks after the murder he'd spotted Jonathan Roman at Aurea’s restaurant -- talking to Aurea’s maid -- and how Aurea’s sister appeared, telling Roman not to answer any questions and how she then called the family attorney.
Gimara: The attorney that represented Aurea, the widow? Why you pick that person represent the guy we are charging with the murder of your husband!
Sara James: Is it possible that they knew Jonathan Roman didn't do it and called this attorney because they knew he had nothing to do with it?
Gimara: Why? The defense theory is that they never knew Jonathan before. You're so kind that you get your family lawyer -- a criminal lawyer -- to represent the murderer.
The defense, meantime, said there was a reason the state couldn't find a motive: Jonathan Roman hadn't killed the millionaire entrepreneur. They pointed out that the state couldn't prove Jonathan even knew Aurea.
Then they called an eyewitness of their own -- a woman who had never come forward before -- who told jurors the real murderer was another man, whom she identified only as "Alex."
But she also had something to say about Aurea: that during the attack Aurea seemed like a spectator and appeared to talk to the assailant while Adam lay on the ground. The attacker then, quote "hit her, though not hard" where upon Aurea seemed to throw herself to the ground.
After a three-week trial, the case was handed over to the jury.
Video: Time on investigator's side, says AG Less than five hours after beginning deliberations, they came back with a verdict: Jonathan Roman was guilty of murder in the first-degree.
Abe Anhang: Today part of the truth came out. That's just the beginning -- because there's others involved. There's no doubt what so ever.
But prosecutors made it explicit, while they have a guilty verdict, their investigation isn't over.
Manuel: I think that this is the first step.
Sara James: Let me be very clear: you have no evidence linking Aurea Vasquez to the murder of her husband do you?
Momentary stone-silence, then…
Gimara: Direct evidence?
Manuel: That question I cannot answer because we are still investigating.
Sara James: Isn't it possible that the reason there's nothing at this moment that you have that you can tell me directly Aurea Vasquez to this crime is because she's innocent -- had nothing to do with it?
Milagros: We don't have the evidence that we need at this time.
Sara James: So the bottom line is right now all you're going to say for sure is Jonathan Roman stabbed and beat Adam Anhang to death.
Manuel: Yes. And we're willing to listen to him when he wants to talk.
Sara James: What do you want to ask him?
Manuel: Who sent him to kill Adam?
Reporter question: When you get on the plane and go back to Canada, what are you going to be thinking about?
Abe Anhang: I’m going to be thinking about the tremendous lost opportunity that Puerto Rico lost here. My son had a vision for Puerto Rico that would have created work for thousands of people.
Now Abe is back in Canada with his wife Barbara. Both are doing their level best to get on with the business of living their lives. For however long they go, Adam -- their sweet, gifted son -- will loom large in their broken hearts.
Barbara Anhang: I love him and I miss him. Although he was very young, he accomplished more in his short years than many people who were much older.
Abe Anhang: We were blessed.
Jonathan Roman was sentenced to 105 years in prison.
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