Police: Bedford should be on the alert after attack on couple last weekend
BEDFORD - Six days after an intruder broke into a home and brutally assaulted a doctor and his wife, police gave a general description of the assailant and said they don't know if the couple was targeted or attacked at random.
"It's important for everyone to recognize the...disturbing possibility that there is an individual in the community who may strike again and that is not comforting," Police Chief John J. Bryfonski said at a Friday media conference at police headquarters.
Bryfonski said the man who broke into the 7 Proclamation Court Adirondack-style mansion where Dr. Eduardo Quesada, his wife, Sonia, and their 2-year-old daughter lived is at least 6-feet tall and wore a black ski mask and dark clothing when he confronted the couple inside their home about 10 p.m. Nov. 24.
"I just really pray that they find this person," said one neighbor who asked that her name not be used out of concern for her safety.
Meanwhile, investigators this week interviewed subcontractors and the developer who have been building the house next door to the Quesadas, one of the subcontractors interviewed said.
"They (police) believe it was a burglary gone bad and that tools were involved," said the subcontractor, who asked that his name not be published.
"They came and asked me if there were any tools missing," he added.
Investigators also met separately with the developer and asked him for the names of everyone who worked on the neighboring house since construction began late summer, the subcontractor said.
Police also brought in a dog team Tuesday to search the rear and side yards of houses along the cul-de-sac, he said.
Flanked by state, local and county law enforcers, Bryfonski said investigators do not know who the intruder is, whether he acted alone or if the burglary was random or targeted.
Police also don't know the motive for the burglary and attack, or whether Dr. Quesada's work as an anesthesiologist with Amoskeag Anesthesiology in Manchester, had anything to do with it.
"We are exploring every possible motive and are still looking at every single piece of evidence," he added.
Authorities held off releasing a description of the attacker until they had a chance to speak more extensively with both victims during the last three to four days and found that a preliminary review of the evidence corroborated their accounts.
Earlier this week, police told the public there is nothing to suggests residents were less safe than usual.
Bryfonski said the male attacker is the same person police previously called a "person of interest."
Quesada, 52, reportedly suffered serious head injuries. He remains hospitalized, the chief said yesterday. Sonia Quesada was released from the hospital this week, the chief said. Their child was not harmed and is being cared for by relatives.
A wounded and bloodied Sonia Quesada first ran to a neighbor's house at 6 Proclamation Court - one of just three houses on the short cul-de-sac. When she found no one home, she ran to the other neighbor's house at 3 Proclamation Court, who called 911, according to police and resident accounts.
Bryfonski, who has been the town's police chief about one year, warned residents to be vigilant and report suspicious activity to Bedford police at 472-5113. He also urged residents to turn on their security alarms, and lights and lock doors.
Bryfonski would not comment when a reporter asked him to confirm a report that Dr. Quesada had been attacked with a screwdriver. The chief also would not say if there were signs of forced entry at the home, if anything had been taken and whether police had recovered a weapon.
Burglaries, the chief said, are "one of the major problems here in Bedford." But, he added, home invasions are "not commonplace" here.
Asked if police are exploring the possibility the attack was the result of a burglary gone bad, the chief only said "we're looking at everything."
One neighbor and a local contractor, however, said Bedford police approach them about a month ago seeking information about an attempted burglary in the neighborhood.They are investigating whether any similar break-ins have happened in the region.
For now, police do not even know if the attacker was on foot or used a vehicle.
While police have just a vague description of the attacker, Bryfonski said state police investigators have amassed "a mountain of evidence" during their nearly four days working inside the home. Much has yet to be processed.
Bryfonski said there is "no connection" between Dr. Quesada's arrest in November, 2011 on a domestic-related assault charge and this case.
Assisting Bedford police are New Hampshire State Police Major Crime Unit investigators, Hillsborough County sheriff's deputies, the FBI and Drug Enforcement Administration agents.