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$5,000 reward offered as 2nd suspect sought in killing of CT National Guard specialist, daughter, 11

Dejan Belnavis (Worcester Police Department/Facebook)
April 05, 2024

Federal authorities have offered a reward of up to $5,000 for information that could lead to the capture of a Massachusetts man wanted in connection with the fatal shooting of a Connecticut Army National Guard specialist and her 11-year-old daughter.

Dejan Dante Belnavis remained at-large as of Saturday afternoon, three days after police said Chasity Nunez and her daughter, Zella Nunez, were killed in a shooting in Worcester, Mass. Worcester police said they charged Belnavis, who should be considered armed and dangerous, with armed assault with intent to murder and possession of a firearm without a license in connection with the homicides.

Worcester police spokesperson Lt. Sean Murtha wrote in an email Saturday morning that there were no updates in the case.

The United States Marshals Service announced a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to Belnavis’ arrest, according to a wanted poster that Worcester police shared on their Facebook page Saturday.

Nunez, 27, a Massachusetts resident, held the rank of specialist and was assigned to the 142nd Medical Company, based in Danbury, where she served as a Patient Administration Specialist, said Maj. David Pytlik, a guard spokesperson.

“Chasity was beloved by her fellow soldiers in the 142nd Medical Company,” Pytlik said. “Her wit, social nature and dedication to duty made her one of the best Soldiers in our unit.”

Pytlik described Nunez as resilient, intelligent and “destined for success in her civilian and military careers, and more full of compassion than anyone I know.”

Police previously said Nunez and her daughter were fatally shot while sitting in a parked SUV on the afternoon of March 5.

On March 6, police said they took 28-year-old Karel Mangual, of Worcester, into custody in connection with the incident. Mangual, who had an outstanding warrant, is charged with armed assault to murder and carrying a firearm without a license, according to police.

A car believed to have been used in the killings later was found in Hartford, authorities said. One of Belnavis’ relatives lived near where the car had been parked in Hartford, according to a criminal complaint filed against Mangual in Worcester District Court.

Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to send an anonymous text stating “TIPWPD” plus the message to 274637, or online by going to and selecting “Crime Tips” in the right-hand menu. Calls can also be made to the Worcester Police Detective Bureau at 508-799-8651.


(c) 2024 Journal Inquirer

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