A man arrested in connection with a brutal beating and carjacking of a woman in Oakland Park is now facing murder charges related to the killing of another woman, authorities said.
Antonino Santo Romano, 28, was taken into custody on Jan. 20 in St. Lucie County in connection with the Jan. 17 attack on 63-year-old Maria Ouveryney, Broward Sheriff's Office officials said.
Ouveryney told investigators she had been beaten and carjacked while feeding cats in a vacant parking lot off West Oakland Park Boulevard.
“She is the kind of person that would give the shirt off her back, and it was not just for the animals, it was for humans, she is just an extraordinary loving individual,” said DeAnna Camacho, who helped Ouveryney care for stray cats.
Investigators said Romano hit Ouveryney multiple times in the head and face and fled the scene in her green Mazda 3. The car was later found in Lauderhill.
Ouveryney was taken to a local hospital for treatment for her injuries.
Officials believe that same night, Romano killed 60-year-old Iliane Alzenord, whose vehicle had been found at the scene where Ouveryney was attacked, officials said.
Later that night, Alzenord's daughter told deputies she had been unable to make contact with Alzenord and had gone to her home to do a welfare check. When deputies entered the home, they found Alzenord dead.
Romano faces a first-degree murder charge in the killing of Alzenord, plus one count of attempted felony murder and one count of carjacking without a firearm or weapon in the attack on Ouveryney, officials said. He was being held without bond Monday, and attorney information wasn't available.
“We count our blessings,” Camacho said. “We feel for the family of the woman that lost her life, that could have been Maria, so we are thankful that she is here with us today.”