NY man charged with murder in death of woman in Frederick

A New York man was arrested and charged with first-degree murder Tuesday for the death of a woman in Frederick, Maryland, last summer.

According to Frederick police, officers found the body of 37-year-old Kelly Nicole Serra shortly before 8:30 a.m. in the wooded area between 66 Waverley Drive and 90 Waverley Drive.

“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,” police said in a news release.

After a long investigation, Santos Margarito Turcios Benitez, 45, of Hempstead, New York, was arrested and charged with first-degree murder.

The investigation remains ongoing.

Anyone with additional information or who may have home surveillance in the area is encouraged to contact Detective K. Yackovich at kyackovich@frederickmdpolice.org or the Frederick Police Department’s nonemergency line at 301-600-2100.

You can also use 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.

Below is a map of the area.

Will Vitka

William Vitka is a Digital Editor and reporter for WTOP.com. He's been in the news industry for over a decade. Before joining WTOP, he worked for CBS News, Stuff Magazine, The New York Post and wrote a variety of books—about a dozen of them, with more to come.

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