The classmate accused of killing a nursing student then fleeing the country was obsessed with her after she dumped him for another man, it has been claimed.
Orlando Tercero, 22, is accused of murdering Haley Anderson, also 22, then arranging her body at an off-campus house near Binghamton University, New York, on Friday.
Her roommates found her lying in his bed after climbing in through a side window and they called police.
They say he was angry because she had earlier dumped him for her a different young man.
Haley’s friends said that while she and Tercero had ‘hooked up’ in the past, she only ever viewed him as a friend.
Friends of Orlando Tercero and Haley Anderson say he was ‘obsessed’ with her and never got over her dumping him for another man before he allegedly killed her then laid her body out in his bed and fled for Nicaragua
‘He never got over his obsession with her,’ Misha Topalli, Anderson’s roommate and friend, told TIME.
‘They hooked up in the past, but to her, it was pretty platonic and she didn’t want to have anything seriously,’ she added.
By the time police named him a suspect, Tercero was on board a flight back to Nicaragua where he has family.
He has since deleted his Facebook profile and Nicaraguan officials say they do not know if they will extradite him to face charges.
Anderson was found by her worried friends lying in his bed and said they knew she was dead by the color of her skin.
They had tracked her cell phone using the Find My iPhone app to the other student home.
Police have not yet revealed how the young woman died or what condition she was found in but her friends said she appeared she had been dead for a while when they found her and that she had a handprint bruise on her arm.
Anderson’s body was found lying ‘formally’ in Tercero’s bed in this off-campus house on Friday. Her worried friends traced her iPhone to the property and climbed inside a window to gain access to it. It is near Binghamton University in New York, where they all study
The girls who found Anderson said she had a handprint bruise on her arm but that there was no blood in sight. By the time she was found and police were called, Tercero was on his way back to Nicaragua
‘She was in Orlando’s room. She was in the bed. Looking back at it, she was clearly dead, because living people aren’t that color,’ Josephine Artin told The New York Post.
‘At the time, we didn’t want that to be true. We called the police. My friend was on the phone with them. They asked, “Is she breathing?” so I went over to her and I just — I wanted her to be alive. But I could tell she hadn’t just died. I’m sure it had happened the day before, based on her color,’ she added.
Artin said she had been laid there looking ‘very formal’ but there was no blood in sight.
‘There was no blood. The way she was lying, I wasn’t sure if that’s where she died or he put her there. It was very formal — she was on her back laying on the bed and she had a blanket halfway up her body. And she just had her arms at her side.
Tercero, who was also studying nursing, is said to have sent a text message to one of his sisters in Nicaragua before he fled to tell her he had done something ‘bad’. It is not clear if he will be extradited
‘There was a handprint bruise on her arm. When I saw that, that’s when I knew for [sure] that Orlando had done this to her,’ she added.
Before fleeing to Nicaragua, Tercero allegedly told one of his sisters he had ‘done something bad’ and ‘was a disgrace to their family’, one of his roommates said.
In the weeks before her death, the students said Tercero drove past his alleged victim’s home and once even slashed her tires.
Anderson was last seen leaving her friends house after drinking wine and playing board games until 4am on Thursday.
The alarm was raised when she did not answer her phone the next day.
Anderson has been described as ‘bright’ and ‘loving’ by those who knew her.
Her co-worker, Athena Anadnostakos, who worked with her for years at Jazzman’s Cafe on campus, spoke highly of the late student in a statement to Fox 40.
‘She was a very good girl. She was friendly, joked around… we had a good time together,’ Anadnostakos told the news station.
‘Everybody is sad… a lot of students came to New York together and they cried today. They were all so close, she said, in tears.
After news of her death emerged, the university shared a message of condolence on its Facebook page.
Friends said Anderson was ‘bright’ and loving. She was last seen on Wednesday night drinking wine and playing games with her friends
‘The Binghamton University community is deeply saddened to learn of the death of senior nursing student Haley Anderson, whose death is being investigated by the Binghamton Police Department,’ the post read in part.
‘There is no threat to public safety at this time. The investigation is continuing at this hour.
‘Anyone with information can contact the Binghamton Police Detective Division at 607-772-7080 or 607-772-7082.’
The message said further: ‘Our entire University community extends our deepest condolences to Haley’s family and friends, both here in Binghamton and in her hometown of Westbury, N.Y.’