Elderly woman stabbed 37 times: Waterbury Police seeking public’s help to find suspect in 2008 murder case

New Haven

WATERBURY, Conn. (WTNH) — It was a violent killing that shocked Waterbury just days before Christmas in 2008.

“This is one of the most disturbing, brutal cases I’ve worked on in my 20 years of investigating homicides,” said Lt. Mike Slavin, one of the original detectives on the case back then.

Laura Orso was 85-years-old. Waterbury Police say she was stabbed almost 40 times. Her body was found on her kitchen floor. In an exclusive News 8 interview, her nephew, Rocco, who is well-known in Waterbury, told us how devastating it’s been for the family — not only still dealing with the loss of a loved one but also because so far no one has been arrested.

“I have faith they will find him,” Rocco said. “We have the greatest police officers in the world.”

Police tell News 8 they wanted to bring renewed attention to this case because they believe they know who killed Laura Orso. They say Ervis Mecollari is a fugitive from justice. They have an arrest warrant out on him for murder. Waterbury Police won’t say why they believe Mecollari is the person who killed Laura Orso, citing the investigation.

But, Rocco Orso says the family is “happy” that police are drawing renewed awareness to the case. They’ve literally traveled the world looking for Ervis Mecollari.

At one time, Lt. Slavin and other Waterbury investigators traveled to Albania.

“Mr. Mecollari is from Albania,” said Lt. Slavin.

They even traveled to Florida because they say Mecollari lived there for a while before moving north to Waterbury.

Their search also took them to New York City for a close call.

“We were able to obtain a telephone number Mr. Mecollari used that was not his,” said Lt. Slavin. “It was tied to a cab driver in New York City who allowed Mr. Mecollari to use his cell phone.”

Today, Rocco met with Waterbury Police Chief Fernando Spagnolo, who reaffirmed the department’s commitment to the case.

“It means a lot to not only me, but all the detectives, men and women here at the police department, the mayor, who personally worked on this case as an investigator to bring closure to this family,” said Chief Spagnolo.

The police are hoping by getting this case back out to the public, someone will remember something and come forward with information that leads them to Ervis Mecollari and leads to closure for Rocco and his family.

“If you know something please call the Waterbury Police Department,” Rocco said.

The public is asked to call the Waterbury Police Detective Bureau (203) 574-6941.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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