LOWELL — The second suspect connected to the apparent homicide of a 40-year-old Lowell man in a Walker Street apartment has been arrested, according to the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office.
Jeffrey Puryear, 24, of Dracut, is charged with armed assault in a dwelling for allegedly attacking Saro Mann, 40, of 171 Walker St., First Floor, inside his apartment early Thursday morning.
On Friday, 41-year-old Samundi Cobb, of 215 Cross St., Lowell, was arraigned in Lowell District Court on the same charge Puryear now faces. Cobb is being held without bail.
Meghan Kelly, a spokeswoman for the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office, said in a press release that Puryear was arrested early Saturday morning. Puryear will be arraigned on Monday in Lowell District Court.
It was not immediately clear where police took Puryear into custody.
Meanwhile, one of Mann’s daughters, Sarina Mann, 22, said her father changed his previously troubled life years ago to become a “great father” who taught her, her brother and her younger sister right from wrong.
A police source confirmed that description, saying that while Mann had previously had run-ins with Lowell police, he had been off the department’s radar for about a decade before his death.
“We never ever sat in the house,” Sarina Mann said. “He always made sure that we were doing something.”
Sarina Mann said her father loved to go for walks or hikes, and loved watching movies, especially scary ones. He also enjoyed visiting flea markets.
She said her father was extremely close with his mother — her grandmother — because the two immigrated here together from Cambodia.
“He always brought me to ride the tea cups when the carnival would come,” Sarina Mann said. “I’m going to miss him so much.”
Mann was discovered Thursday about 2:45 a.m., when his live-in girlfriend returned to the couple’s apartment and found Mann on the living room floor with his hands duct-taped behind his back, a cloth laundry bag over his head, and duct tape wrapped around his neck, according to a police report.
There were several bloody cuts to Mann’s hands, head and back, according to the report.
Police also spoke to a witness whose name was redacted from court records on the order of Judge Daniel Crane.
That witness told investigators he had been at Mann’s apartment on Wednesday night smoking crack and using heroin with Mann and two other men, according to the redacted police report.
That man told police that one of the men had an argument with Mann because the man “wanted more crack cocaine for his money,” according to the report.
The witness eventually went home, but returned to Mann’s apartment later in the night because he was worried, according to the report.
The witness watched as the men broke into Mann’s apartment, left with a safe and a Playstation game, and then returned a short time later armed with a meat cleaver and duct tape, according to the police report.
The witness heard Mann moaning inside the apartment, and soon snuck up to a window and saw the two men put a cloth bag over Mann’s head, tie his hands behind his back, and begin beating him, according to the report.
The witness then watched as the two men left, and then entered Mann’s apartment himself, according to the report.
A police report says the witness “saw the victim struggle to breath and stop breathing shortly thereafter,” Detective Corey Erickson wrote in a police report. “(Redacated) returned home and was extremely distraught.”
The police report makes no mention of the witness ever contacting police as the incident unfolded.
The witness later picked both suspects out of photo arrays prepared by police, according to the police report.
Police got a search warrant for Cobb’s apartment and located several items that were stolen from Mann’s apartment, according to the report.
It was while serving that search warrant Friday about 4:30 a.m. that members of the Lowell police Gang Unit located Cobb.
Cobb is due back in Lowell District Court on Friday for a hearing at which a judge will determine whether he is too dangerous to be released on bail pending trial.
A spokeswoman for the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office declined to comment on why Cobb and Puryear were not charged with murder. Prosecutors could upgrade the charges at any time.
Sarina Mann said she has struggled to deal with her father’s loss and the way he was taken from his family.
“He wasn’t a bad guy and he didn’t deserve this,” Sarina Mann said. “My family doesn’t deserve this.”
A GoFundMe page has been setup to help Mann’s family, which includes two children, pay for funeral expenses. That page is at www.gofundme.com/funeral-expenses-for-saro-mann.