"It hurts just thinking that I'll never hear your voice. I wish this was just a dream," Leila Duarte Da Luz's grieving sister said.
A pregnant woman was found dead in an icy Rhode Island pond four months ago. A fisherman found the body of 34-year-old Leila Duarte Da Luz, of Brockton, in Carbuncle Pond in Coventry on December 21. "Once on scene, detectives observed that the unidentified female had sustained several lacerations to her head and determined that her death was suspicious," police said in the statement. After a months-long investigation police arrested her fiancé, Gary Gromkiewicz, 35, of Lincoln, and Michael Lambert, 46, of Pawtucket. They claim the pregnant victim was alive when she was thrown into a pond after allegedly being beaten by the two men, per PEOPLE.
Prosecutors say Leila Duarte Da Luz, who was pregnant, was in the water for several hours. She was alive when she entered the water. The victim was later found with cuts on her head from blunt force trauma. https://t.co/cTpJtcLOPa— ABC6 News Desk (@ABC6) May 10, 2023
The state medical examiner’s Office conducted an autopsy and confirmed the victim's death as a homicide and that she was pregnant. Family members told WJAR in February that Da Luz was two months pregnant and had been living in Brockton at the time of her death. She was described as a sweet, shy woman who studied business law and was a hard worker. Her sister Dunia said, "We are hurt, this has changed our lives forever, for all of us, we want justice, not only for Leila, we don't want anyone else to suffer like we are suffering, we don't want any other girl to be murdered. If someone did this and is out there, they are a threat."
Pregnant Woman Was Found in R.I. Pond Days Before Christmas. The Unborn Baby's Father Was Just Arrested https://t.co/NDkdg1F8x2— People (@people) May 11, 2023
Leila’s other sister, Katy Alves, who lives in Portugal also mourned the loss of her sibling. "You had so much to live for, so much to do and many dreams yet to come true. You were such a kind, loving person, a friend to everyone, you never hurt anyone, and someone out of pure pleasure, hate, without love decided to simply take your precious life," she said. She added at the time that she thought of her sister every day and is still in shock over the tragic death. "It hurts just thinking that I'll never hear your voice. I wish this was just a dream. I have faith that justice will be served and I hope whoever did this to you spends the rest of his life in jail."
The father of Leila Duarte Da Luz's unborn baby, Gromkiewicz, has been charged with murder and conspiracy to commit murder. He was on probation for a 2015 felony assault with a deadly weapon conviction. He and Da Luz got engaged in October 2022 when she was pregnant with his child, Assistant Attorney General John Corrigan said in Kent County District Court, per ABC 6. According to Corrigan, the two had an argument over a diamond engagement ring, as he was allegedly using her money to buy it, per PEOPLE.
They had an on-again, off-again relationship. When authorities asked if he had any contact with her after her disappearance he allegedly said, “I don’t know — maybe a few days ago. She hasn’t answered my text. If you find her don’t call me. I don’t care,” before hanging up.
Cover Image Source: YouTube | WPRI