COCOA BEACH, Fla. – Almost four years after 27-year-old Jessica Erausquin was found slain in a Cocoa Beach residential street, police said they have arrested a suspect with the help of new information.
Eruasquin was found on Rose Street just before 7 a.m. on Oct. 16, 2014. Cocoa Beach police said they were investigating her death as traffic homicide. The medical examiners later found that the Orlando woman died of multiple areas of blunt force trauma to the head.
David Erausquin said the unsolved case of his 27-year-old niece, Jessica Erausquin, has been hard on the family.
He said Tuesday they got the call they've been waiting on from Cocoa Beach police, notifying them Marylee Walker, 30, was arrested for vehicular manslaughter in connection to Jessica Erausquin's death.
“Since the incident date on Oct. 16, 2014, Cocoa Beach police, with assistance of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, have worked tirelessly to solve this case, bring those responsible to justice, and provide much needed closure to Jessica’s family and friends," Cocoa Beach Police Chief Scott Rosenfeld said.
"Of course, we had reservations," David Erausquin said. "We don't want to falsely accuse anybody. We have thought that this was the person, but until (it) was definitive in stone, (we) just kept hoping."
Her uncle said Walker was known to the family, but was not a friend of his niece.
"She was a friend of a friend, and tragically, what we understand, she needed a ride that night, and that's how (Jessica ended) up with this person," David Erausquin said.
Police said they had exhausted all leads until they identified and interviewed a former acquaintance of Walker's who provided them with information corroborated by witnesses. That information, along with the medical examiner's findings and evidence at the scene, led detectives to Walker, according to a news release.
However, detectives aren't even telling the family what the new details are.
"Unfortunately, they're not giving us too much detail," David Erausquin said. "They say because this is an ongoing case, they don't want to compromise it. You know, it was nerve-racking, because we've been waiting so long for this. (But) we're not done yet. We still need to get a conviction."
Friends described the 27-year-old victim as an eager student who was going to college for a second degree in forensics.
"This was her passion, this is was what she was studying for -- to investigate crimes, to bring justice to wrongdoing, so it would be an injustice if we didn't do this for her," friend Crystal Lopez told News 6 after her death. "It might motive people that maybe do know what happened to her to speak up."
Erausquin family hired a private investigator to take a look at the case in 2015 after they said "a lack of communication on the part of the Cocoa Beach Police Department" became a "nightmare for the family."
Walker is being held at the Osceola County Correctional Facility until she is extradited to Brevard County.
The investigation is ongoing. Police asked anyone with information about Walker or the case to call the Cocoa Beach Police Department at 321-868-3251.