Sometime next week, Vermont State Police are expecting to arrest a suspect in a double homicide in Washington County from more than three years ago. Troopers say he is Manuel Gomez, 32, of Hartford, Connecticut, who is currently incarcerated for a prior conviction.
Two adjacent homes on Bliss Road in Woodbury caught fire on the night before Halloween, 2018. Inside the two buildings, crews found the bodies of Carol Fradette, 29; David Thompson, 48; and their three dogs. Investigators determined that the pair and their dogs hadn’t died in the fires; they had gunshot wounds.
A judge issued a warrant Wednesday afternoon for Gomez’s arrest on aggravated murder and first-degree arson charges. He’s accused of killing Fradette and Thompson, as well as of setting the fires to try to destroy evidence.
VSP says Gomez had been selling heroin to Thompson, who may have owed Gomez more than $20,000 for the drugs. Digital evidence reportedly shows Gomez traveling on October 30, 2018 from Connecticut to Thompson’s home, arriving shortly before a neighbor called 911 to report that the home was on fire.
“When you have a crime scene alone, it’s a lot of painstaking work and methodical work,” Vermont Dept. of Public Safety Det. Sgt. Todd Ambroz said at the scene the following day. “Throw in a fire, and looking like possibly somebody tried to get rid of some evidence — when there’s a fire involved, it throws another layer of masking what really went on.”
Gomez is behind bars in New York at the moment on an unrelated federal gun conviction, but Vermont State Police say he’s due to be released next week. Once he is, he’ll be arrested in this case and extradited to the Green Mountain State.