A 16-year-old boy faces a murder charge in connection with a decapitated body found in Lawrence, the Essex County District Attorney’s Office said.

Matthew Borges was charged Saturday with first-degree murder in the death of Lee Manuel Viloria-Paulino, 16, whose headless body was found Thursday by a woman walking her dog along the Merrimack River in Lawrence. The teen had been missing since Nov. 18.

District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett said at a news conference on Saturday it is unknown what the nature of the relationship between Viloria-Paulino and Borges was, but he believed the two teens went to high school together.

“I will not speculate as to motive at this time, that would be wrong,” Blodgett said. “I will not speculate if it was gang-related."


Borges is expected in court on Monday.

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