STEGER | A man accused of killing a Steger teen in 2011 died in jail last weekend, officials said.
Enrico L. Mascaro, 21, of Nags Head, N.C., had been in jail since charges were filed against him in July 2011. He died in an apparent suicide and was found at 11:38 p.m. Sunday in his jail cell, according to a Dare County Sheriff's Office news release.
Danielle Dennis-Towne, 18, of Steger, was found dead July 15, 2011, in the trunk of a car in Clifton Forge, Va., police said at the time. She graduated from Bloom Trail High School, where she was an honors student and a commander in the Naval Junior Reserve Officers Training Program.
Sandra Joyce, Dennis-Towne's grandmother who raised her, said her granddaughter was in North Carolina for a two-week vacation when she was killed. She said her family was friends with Mascaro's family.
Police arrested Mascaro the night police found Dennis-Towne's body. Police began searching for him after finding what appeared to be a homicide scene in Kitty Hawk.
Joyce said Wednesday she was still reeling from the news of Mascaro's suicide. Officials told her Mascaro killed himself at exactly the two-year anniversary of Dennis-Towne's death.
Joyce said she had planned to fly to North Carolina for the trial, which was slated to start in October.
"It's been a trying two years," she said. "Now we are not going to trial."
Joyce said the family has started a scholarship for students involved in the ROTC program at Bloom Trail High School in her granddaughter's memory. She described her granddaughter as friendly and motivated.
"I miss her dearly," she said.