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Florida delivery man allegedly attacks elderly woman with mallet, sets her on fire

The woman, who would have turned 76 next week, died after being treated at a local hospital for a brain bleed and severe burns, police said.

A Florida delivery man was charged with murder for allegedly attacking the elderly woman in Boca Raton who paid for him to install appliances purchased from Best Buy.

Jorge Luis Depre Lachazo, 21, allegedly attacked Evelyn Smith Udell with a mallet and set her on fire after he installed a washer and dryer for her on Monday morning, according to a police report from the Boca Raton Police Department.

Image: Jorge Dupre Lachazo.
Jorge Dupre Lachazo.Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office

Udell, who would have turned 76 next week, died after being treated at a local hospital for a brain bleed and severe burns, police said.

Police found her unresponsive on the floor of her laundry room, her clothing "fully engulfed" according to the report, with blunt force trauma and severe burns after another delivery driver partnered with Lachazo called 911.

The second driver, David Gonzalez, told officers he stepped outside to make work calls and heard screams from the house. Gonzalez found Udell on the ground with blood on the floor when he rushed back into the house.

"Lachazo was acting very strange and told Gonzalez multiple times that they needed to leave," the police report said. "Gonzalez was in fear for his life and stepped outside the residence."

Lachazo allegedly fled the scene with the delivery truck while Gonzalez was on the phone with 911 dispatch.

Police quickly tracked down the truck and found Lachazo sweaty, nervous and shaking, according to the report. Officers observed the hair on his legs looked as though it was burned off and there appeared to be ash on his legs.

Image: Evelyn Udell
Evelyn Udell was beaten and burned to death by a delivery driver in Florida.

The suspect later confessed to detectives that he used a wooden mallet to hit Udell on the side of the head. Lachazo told police he then grabbed a "chemical agent" from the garage.

"He then made a motion with his hands indicating that he doused Evelyn Udell and the room with the chemical agent," the police report said. "He then made a motion with his hands that the chemical agent spontaneously combusted. He denied knowing the ignition source that was used to start the fire."

The police report stated that responding officers found an open container of acetone in the kitchen, where the stove was pulled away from the wall.

Detectives said Lachazo also confessed to recently using cocaine and vaping marijuana.

Lachazo was denied bond on charges of murder without premeditation, aggravated battery with a deadly weapon on a person over the age of 65, and arson.

The Boca Raton Best Buy where the appliances were purchased was closed on Tuesday in the wake of the attack.

Best Buy CEO Corie Barry said in a statement that the company has severed ties with the delivery company Lachazo worked for and is fully cooperating with the police investigation. Best Buy will also hire an independent security firm to review our existing screening and safety programs.

"For more than 20 years, millions of Americans have trusted us to come into their homes and, on days like this, I am fully aware of how precious that trust is and how vital it is that we do everything in our power to earn it," Barry said. "Today, we redouble our efforts to do just that.”