In Depth

Woman held over ‘hide and seek’ suitcase murder

The 42-year-old suspect claims she fell asleep after zipping boyfriend inside case

A woman arrested on suspicion of murder after her boyfriend’s body was found inside a suitcase has claimed that he died after a game of hide-and-seek went wrong.

Sarah Boone is being held on suspicion of second-degree murder over the death of Jorge Torres Jr at the home shared by the couple, both 42, in Orlando, Florida.

Boone allegedly zipped her boyfriend inside the case and then left him there for hours.

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What happened?

Boone told police that she and her boyfriend had been playing hide-and-seek after drinking alcohol and thought it would be funny if he got into the suitcase, according to Florida TV news station WKMG.

She zipped Torres into the case but then passed out in her bed, she claimed.

Boone said that when she woke up later, she realised Torres was still in the case and called 911, court records show.

Sky News reports that officers from Orange County Sheriff's Office found his body in a blue suitcase near the front door of the couple’s property.

Deputies said he had a small cut on his lip and bruising around his eye.

Court records show that officers searched Boone’s phone and found a video of her laughing as Torres shouted from inside the suitcase.

Boone can allegedly be heard saying: “Yeah, that’s what you do when you choke me.”

When Torres shouts that he can’t breathe, she reportedly replies: “That’s on you. Oh, that’s what I feel like when you cheat on me.”

The video is said to show the suitcase facing downwards as Torres pushes at it in a bid to get out.

A second clip “shows Torres yelling out Boone’s name with the suitcase in a different position”, says WKMG.

What is second-degree murder?

According to Law.com’s legal dictionary, second-degree murder is “a non-premeditated killing, resulting from an assault in which death of the victim was a distinct possibility”.

“Second degree murder is different from first degree murder, which is a premeditated, intentional killing or results from a vicious crime such as arson, rape or armed robbery,” the site adds.

Exact definitions of what constitutes second-degree murder vary from state to state in the US.

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