Report: Man died of asphyxiation after girlfriend locked him in suitcase for ‘up to 11 hours'

Manner of death classified as homicide

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – A medical examiner has determined a Florida man died of asphyxiation, citing the manner of death as a homicide, after his girlfriend locked him in a suitcase, according to a report released Wednesday.

Sarah Boone was arrested on charges of second-degree murder in February after she was accused of zipping her boyfriend inside a suitcase during a game of hide-n-seek and leaving him to die as he called out her name and told her he couldn’t breathe.

A post-mortem examination of Boone’s boyfriend, 42-year-old Jorge Torres Jr., revealed that he died of positional asphyxia with environmental suffocation consistent with prolonged confinement.

The report also revealed that Torres had alcohol in his system at the time of death. Boone told investigators that she and Torres drank alcohol during the night and she passed out in her bed before letting her boyfriend out of the suitcase where he would later die, according to court records.

Based on the medical examiner’s findings, they estimated that Torres had been in the suitcase for “up to 11 hours or more.” A report showed that Torres had a black eye and other bruises and cuts on his head. His back and hands also had abrasions, bruises and cuts, indicating blunt impacts around the body, according to the medical examiner.

Investigators said Boone told deputies she woke up later and realized her boyfriend was still in the suitcase.

When Boone found Torres unresponsive in the suitcase, she told deputies she called her ex-husband who lives a few minutes away. After seeing Torres’ body, the ex-husband told Boone she needed to call 911, records show.

Deputies said they found Torres’ body near the front door near a blue suitcase.

Boone allowed investigators to search her phone through both verbal and written consent, and detectives found two videos on her phone where Torres can be heard from within the suitcase begging Boone to let him out, shouting that he couldn’t breathe.

“That’s on you. Oh, that’s what I feel like when you cheat on me,” Boone said in the video, according to court records. Based on the videos, Boone sounded as if she could be slurring her words.

The first video showed the suitcase facing downward with Torres pushing on the suitcase in an attempt to get out. The second video showed the suitcase in another position as if it had been moved.

Boone could be heard in the videos laughing and telling Torres to “shut up" as he called her name.

Boone told Torres this was “for everything you’ve done to me,” according to the video.

According to records, Boone remains in the Orange County Jail without bond.

About the Author:

Erin began her career at News 6 as an assignment editor, then became a show producer. She is now a digital storyteller as part of the Click Orlando team.