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Toys R Us employee suspect in two murders in New York

Posted at 6:19 PM, Nov 09, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-10 06:32:04-05

A Naples man who worked at a Toys R Us store - and is wanted in the murder of a New York woman in 2000 - has been linked to another cold-case murder.

Christopher Gonzalez, 36, was arrested Tuesday by the Collier County Sheriff's Office.

NYPD homicide detectives believe Gonzalez strangled Dora Almoteser, 19, in December 2000 in her uncle's Bronx apartment. At the time, DNA and a fingerprint found at the scene were filed as belonging to "John Doe."

Forward to 2017, when detectives re-submitted the fingerprint to the FBI's national database, looking for a match - and got a hit. That's because in April, Collier County deputies had arrested Gonzalez for driving without a valid license.

According to media in New York, the "John Doe" DNA found at Almoteser's murder scene matched DNA recovered from the body of Angel Serbay, 25, who was found strangled on a New York parkway in 2005.

Walt Zalisko, a private investigator in Southwest Florida, said that a background check from Toys R Us - or any company - would not have found any red flags in hiring Gonzalez, as long as he'd been staying off of police radar.

"Once you're arrested, your fingerprints are on file," Zalisko said. "Any police department who has an open case can re-open it and compare those prints."

In response to inquiries about their employee background checks, a spokesman for Toys R Us sent Fox 4 this statement:

"We conduct background checks on all employees, however we are not going to share the specific details of those checks since we do not want applicants to circumvent our processes."

Gonzalez is in the Collier County jail, but will most likely be extradited to New York to face a judge in the homicide cases there.