BOW — Local police and cellphone towers helped locate key evidence in the case against a Derry man now accused of stabbing an ex-girlfriend to death in a Worcester, Mass., restaurant last Wednesday.
Before Carlos Asencio, 28, allegedly killed Amanda Dabrowski, 31, of Ayer, Mass., authorities believe he broke into her apartment on Easter morning wearing a ski mask and armed with a handgun, stun gun, knives and handcuffs.
Newly released court documents detail how, after that April incident, Bow police helped Massachusetts authorities locate a bag along Interstate 93 that apparently had been tossed from a car window. The bag contained duct tape, handcuffs, two knives, .38 caliber bullets and Dabrowski’s cellphone.
According to Ayer police, Dabrowski awoke about 5 a.m. Easter morning to find a masked individual holding a stun gun and carrying a bag, inside which she saw handcuffs.
The attacker used the stun gun on Dabrowski, who fought back by stabbing the individual with a vape pen and cracking a bottle of liquor over their head, officials say. The masked intruder briefly pointed a handgun at Dabrowski, but she yelled at her attacker and continued to fight back.
The attacker was able to gather his bag and knives before Dabrowski pushed him out of an open window, according to authorities.
Later, Massachusetts authorities pinged Dabrowski’s cellphone, which the attacker had taken with him. Pinging a phone allows cellular companies and investigators to determine its general whereabouts based on the location of the cell towers it connects to.
Bow Master Patrol Officer Tyler Coady said local police were able to locate the phone in a bag containing other items in the grass beside the northbound lane of I-93.
“It’s an interesting circumstance,” said Coady. “Certainly, we’ve pinged cellphones for certain situations — it has to be an exigent circumstance like a suicidal subject or a serious felony, something of that nature — but as far as recovering evidence, no. This is, at least in my time, this is the first incidence of that.”
According to Coady, Bow police have no reason to believe the individual responsible for the home invasion stopped in town, saying instead that “it would appear that (the bag) had been thrown out the car window” as the assailant passed through.
That narrative fits the tracking information pulled from the stolen phone. Court documents say the phone’s signal was tracked from Interstate 495 toward Lowell, Mass., up Route 3 to the Everett Turnpike through Nashua, Merrimack and Bedford, then on I-93 in Hooksett and finally Bow.
Days later, Ayer police would issue an arrest warrant for Asencio, whom Dabrowski believed was her attacker. Investigators eventually determined that Asencio had crossed the Canadian border into Stanstead, Quebec, from Derby, Vt., about 9 a.m. on the day of the home invasion.
Asencio then allegedly boarded a flight to Cancun, Mexico, where investigators believe he spent the next several months.
How Asencio eventually was able to reenter the United States without detection with a pending warrant for the home invasion is still under investigation.