FREDERICK, MD – On July 29, 2020, at approximately 8:23 a.m., patrol officers of the Frederick Police Department were on foot in the wooded area between 66 Waverley Drive and 90 Waverley Drive conducting a patrol check. This area, extending from the rear of Ollie’s Discount Store behind the Frederick Towne Mall, to the side of the Home Depot parking lot has had issues with loitering, drug and alcohol abuse, as well as vagrants living in the woods. During this check of the area, Officer Fernholz located a deceased female.
Detectives identified the victim as 37-year-old female Kelly Nicole Serra. During further investigation, her death was determined to be a homicide.
The long-term investigation culminated in the identification and arrest of the suspect, Santos Margarito Turcios Benitez, 45, of Hempstead, NY. The apprehension and arrest of Turcios Benitez on April 13, 2021, was a coordinated effort between detectives of the Frederick Police Department, Hempstead Police Department, Hempstead Investigations Unit, Glen Cove Police Department, New York State Police, FBI Gang Task Force, and FBI Violent Crimes Task Force. Turcios Benitez is currently in custody at the Nassau County Jail where he awaiting extradition back to Frederick, where he faces charges of first-degree murder.
Although an arrest has been made, this investigation is ongoing, and detectives continue to ask for the public’s assistance. Anyone with additional information or who may have home surveillance in the area is encouraged to contact Detective K. Yackovich at firstname.lastname@example.org or the Frederick Police Department’s non-emergency line at 301-600-2100. You can also utilize the anonymous voicemail at 301-600-TIPS (8477), the text tip line at 240-674-TIPS (8477), or the email tip line at fpdcrimetip@FrederickMDPolice.org
Date: April 14, 2021
Incident Type: Homicide
Public Information Contact: Lt. Andrew Alcorn - 240-674-2612 or PIO Allen Etzler - 240-549-4380
Author of release: Lt. Andrew Alcorn
Lead Investigator: Det. Yackovich - email@example.com