Teen Allegedly Strangled Friend Who Was Found Topless in Hotel Room, Bound With Phone Cords – PEOPLE.com

Teen Allegedly Strangled Friend Who Was Found Topless in Hotel Room, Bound With Phone Cords – PEOPLE.com

A 19-year-old Massachusetts woman is accused of killing a teenage friend whose topless body was discovered last June inside a Braintree hotel with her arms and legs bound with cell phone cords.

PEOPLE confirms that Juana Rivera of Lawrence, Massachusetts, has been charged with murder, human trafficking, unarmed robbery, kidnapping, conspiracy to commit murder, conspiracy to commit unarmed robbery and deriving support from prostitution.

Rivera is being held without bail after entering not guilty pleas in court on Monday.

Prosecutors allege that in 2016, Rivera befriended the victim, Reina Rodriguez, who was homeless, and offered to help her make money by essentially acting as her pimp, according to a statement of case from the Norfolk County Superior Court obtained by PEOPLE.

The documents allege that Rivera would drive Rodriguez — who was from Lowell — to hotels where, for days, she was paid to have sex with men who responded to her online ads.

The court filings allege Rodriguez’s boyfriend, Jason McLeod, told police he paid for the room at the Hyatt Place Hotel in Braintree where he would later find Rodriguez’s dead body face down on the floor.

McLeod allegedly said he last saw the victim the night before, moments after she left his car to meet up with a client at the the hotel. McLeod also told police Rivera was his ex-girlfriend.

Prosecutors allege in court filings that Rivera and two male accomplices conspired to rob Rodriguez at the hotel. The victim put up a fight, but Rivera allegedly strangled Rodriguez until she stopped moving. Rivera, unable to determine if Rodriguez was dead, smothered her, the court filings allege. Rodriguez was 19 when she died.

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McLeod told police Rivera and Rodriguez had formerly been friends, but things changed when he began dating the Rodriguez, the court filings allege.

Investigators allege that on June 21, the two male accomplices — Kentavious Coleman, 20, and Kenyonte Galmore, 22 — entered the hotel, leaving a short time later.

“The digital investigation shows that on June 22, 2017, Defendant Rivera, posing as a client, set up the meeting with the victim,” the court filings state.

Police found Rodriguez’s purse emptied onto a desk, with her wallet, cash, and cell phone missing.

The court filings allege DNA evidence links all three suspects to the murder scene.

Coleman and Galmore are both in custody in Mississippi on unrelated charges.

Authorities are seeking to extradite them both to Massachusetts to face arraignment on murder, unarmed robbery, kidnapping, conspiracy to murder and conspiracy to commit unarmed robbery charges, a spokesperson for the Norfolk County District Attorney’s Office tells PEOPLE. They have not yet entered pleas.

McLeod was arrested Friday in Maine on human trafficking and deriving support from prostitution charges, and is awaiting extradition. He has not yet entered a plea.

It was unclear Tuesday if any if any of the defendants had a lawyer who could comment on their behalf.

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