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A Rhode Island man detained by police in the case of a murdered Boston woman now faces a federal kidnapping charge that could carry the death penalty, federal prosecutors in Massachusetts announced Sunday afternoon.
Massachusetts U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling told reporters in a 3 p.m. press conference that Louis Coleman, 32, of Providence, will be charged with kidnapping resulting in death in connection with the murder of Jassy Correia. The young mother and Dorchester resident went missing last weekend while celebrating her 23rd birthday at a club in Boston's Theatre District.
Authorities discovered her body in the trunk of a car Coleman was operating in Delaware on Thursday after a multi-state search. Correia was last seen alive in surveillance footage entering a vehicle matching the description of the one Coleman was driving.
After his arrest, Coleman was initially charged with kidnapping, refusal to report a death with intent to conceal a crime and mutilation of a dead human body. He is being held in Delaware on a fugitive's warrant out of Rhode Island.
Lelling said federal charges will allow prosecutors to punish Coleman, if found guilty, to the full extent of the law.
"Federal charges are being brought because of the multi-state nature of the crime, and the penalties available in the federal court," he said. "And they are being brought here because Ms. Corriea was from here, was taken from here. So justice should be done here."
Coleman is not being charged with murder. Lelling told reporters investigators believe he acted alone, saying "we don't have any reason to believe he was with anyone else."
Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins said the federal kidnapping charge does not rule out additional state charges.
Coleman appeared in federal court in Delaware Monday afternoon and agreed to be sent back to Boston.
With additional reporting from WBUR's Paul Connearney
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