PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- A court document obtained Thursday suggests the man suspected of abducting and killing two young Providence boys may have tried to pin the slayings on a man he was jealous of.
The arrest warrant request for William Sarmento states that an envelope investigators believe Sarmento sent to Police Chief Anthony Mancuso bore an imprint of the words 'Alfonzo Tobey, (sic) catch me if you can, ha ha ha.'
A letter inside told police where they could find the body of Frankie Barnes, a 10-year-old boy who disappeared Nov. 4 while riding his bike near his West End home.
Police said it also stated 'I no raped Jason,' a reference to Jason Wolf, 6, who disappeared Dec. 14 after going to get his family's mail and turned up dead a week later near Mashapaug Pond, not far from Barnes's home.
Police refused to make any comment regarding the letter, though a published report in the Providence Journal-Bulletin said investigators believe Sarmento, 21, Providence, tried to blame the slayings on Alfonzo Toby, who was questioned and later released.
Sarmento, who is charged with first-degree murder in both deaths, was being kept in a special cell at the state prison's infirmary. A spokesman for the state Corrections Department said guards were checking him regularly to prevent a suicide attempt.
Sarmento was transferred to the prison from the state Institute of Mental Health on Tuesday because of safety considerations. He is scheduled to undergo psychiatric testing and was due back in court Jan. 8 for a bail hearing.
'He's presently considered under the 'red-tag' watch,' spokesman Joseph DiNitto said. 'We're watching him every 15 minutes and we're totally segregating him from the (prison) population.'
Mancuso received the letter last Saturday and police found Barnes's body a short time later in Tongue Pond on the grounds of the Narragansett Brewery in Cranston.
According to the warrant request, authorities arrested Toby in Providence for a motor vehicle violation Sunday and brought him in for questioning. But Toby denied ever writing the letter, whose envelope bore an imprint of his name.
He told police, however, he had had several altercations with a man, whom he knew only as 'Billy,' over a woman he referred to as 'Cookie.' Police identified the man and woman as Sarmento and Paulette McAlpine, 19, Providence.
Toby subsequently identified Sarmento's picture and police went to McAlpine's home and obtained a piece of paper Sarmento had written on. Detectives took it and a copy of the letter to a qualified examiner, who 'determined there were (handwriting) similarities' between them.
McAlpine was shown a copy of the letter's envelope and recognized on it the word 'Chief,' which she said was a name Sarmento referred to himself by.