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Incident With Young Girl at Duck Pond Triggers Cooperation Between Groton Police, Littleton & Federal Marshalls Leading To Arrest On Federal Warrant

by Connie Sartini
Collaborative efforts by Groton, Littleton and the US Marshal Service resulted in the arrest on Tuesday, Dec. 10 of Jorge Luis Alaya-Mercado on Federal Warrants from Florida. This arrest occurred just two days after an alleged incident on December 8 at 4 p.m. involving a young girl on Duck Pond in Groton and a similar alleged incident in Littleton at 3:15 p.m. on November 25..
Groton Police Officer Peter Breslin recalled seeing a Law Enforcement Bulletin from Littleton that described a Hispanic male, about age 30 who approached a teen-aged girl in that town and notified a Groton detective.
     Littleton Detectives John Janakos and Pat O’ Donoghue had a good description of the vehicle. The Detectives monitored roads in the area for the car and from the description of the driver, following a traffic stop were able to identify the driver as Jorge Luis Alaya-Mercado of Lakeland, Florida as the man who allegedly asked the young girl if she wanted a ride. This was possible based on a solid description from the teenager.
     Groton Detective Pat Timmins said he saw enough similarities with the alleged incident on Sunday, Dec. 8 at Duck Pond in Groton to bring Alaya-Mercado in for questioning if located. Detective Timmins talked with the Groton victim and her parents and determined that there is a high likelihood that this was the same person. There is only a six-mile difference between the alleged incident in Littleton and Duck Pond.
     Through the use of computer databases and records, Groton Police found that the individual has many aliases, different birth dates, social security numbers, and found that he allegedly had violated his probation from a previous conviction and was a fugitive wanted by the US marshals.
     Detective Timmins said that his records indicate a violent criminal history. He added that through the collaboration with other police agencies, they were able to locate Alaya-Mercado’s mother’s address, his cell phone, and his new workplace.
This information was relayed to the U. S. Marshalls who arrested him in Leominster.
     Through the collaboration of the Police Departments, there was a major effort to break the case and apprehend this individual, one that has so many similarities to the one described in the alleged Groton incident including the time of day, what was said to both girls, and the description of the individual.
     At approximately 4:25 p.m. on Tuesday, Detective Timmins was notified by Jeffrey Cobb, a criminal investigator with the US Marshal Service in Tampa, Florida, that fugitive Ayala-Mercado was apprehended in Leominster due in part to the assistance and information that the Groton and Littleton Police provided to them.
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