Police made an arrest this week in a six-year-old murder case that had entered the state’s cold case files.
The Milford Police Department on Wednesday arrested Matthew Pugh, 40, formerly of Hamden, and charged him with one count of murder and one count of first-degree burglary in connection with the May 19, 2006, death of 26-year-old Alexandra Ducsay.
Pugh, a former boyfriend of the victim, was arraigned at state Superior Court in Milford Wednesday. Bond was set at $2 million. He is scheduled to appear in court again Sept. 19, and is being held in the Garner Correctional Facility in Newtown, where he was incarcerated on unrelated charges before this week’s arrest.
It was six years ago that Alexandra Ducsay was discovered deceased in her home on Boothbay Street. Police Chief Keith Mello said police were called to the house at about 4:40 p.m. that day after Alexandra’s mother discovered her daughter beaten in the basement.
Police said the area was consistent with a violent crime scene. An autopsy performed by the Chief Medical Examiner’s office determined that the cause of death was blunt force trauma and the manner of death was certified as “homicide.”
Pugh’s arrest followed a lengthy investigation by detectives from the Milford Police Department in collaboration with the Chief State’ s Attorney office, Cold Case Unit and the Office of the State’ s Attorney for the Judicial District of Ansonia-Milford.
Ducsay was a Milford girl who grew up on Boothbay Street and attended Milford schools, including Jonathan Law High School. Contemporaries remember a “nice” girl who played recreation basketball in her younger years and later worked to find her niche in high school.
After high school, Alexandra attended Albertus Magnus College in New Haven, where she graduated magna cum laude.
A minister from Kingdom Life Christian Church said at the time of her death that she was a “go getter” who wanted to make a difference in the world. At church, she volunteered to help the youth dance team.
She worked at People’ s Bank up until her death as she pursued a career in acting and modeling. In her spare time, she organized charitable events for children.
The last time the young woman was seen alive was when she worked out at Bally’ s Gym in Stratford on the day of her murder until past 11 a.m. Police have placed her death at between 12:34 and 4:30 p.m. on May 19.
Police and family have maintained over the years that they believed Ducsay knew her attacker, largely because there was no forced entry into the home.
According to court documents, Alexandra and Matthew Pugh had dated for “some considerable period of time starting when Alexandra was 16 years old.”
During their relationship Pugh was sent to prison in Connecticut, and the relationship ended while Pugh was in prison.
Alexandra’s mother, Linda Ducsay, told police at the time that “Matthew Pugh would regularly harass and threaten” Alexandra after the break-up.
Alexandra wrote a letter to the state Department of Correction in January, 2004, stating that Pugh had threatened her in letters and on the telephone while he was in jail. The arrest affidavit cites the letter that Pugh allegedly sent to Ducsay, in which he wrote things such as, “if you don’t start making time for me … you’re gonna regret you ever met me.”
The state Department of Correction investigated the complaint and disciplined Pugh, court documents state.
Pugh was released from jail Aug. 6, 2004. Alexandra’s brother, Eric Terranova, told police during their investigation that Pugh continually threatened his sister after his release from jail.
“Terranova indicated that the threats against the victim were serious and indicated they were repeated continually to the victim,” court documents state.
The investigation report also states that Pugh had told his cousin, Anthony Pugh, in 2005 that he wanted to kill Ducsay, and even talked about how he would clean the scene afterward to cover up the fact that he’d been there.
Police have DNA from the bathroom of the Ducsay house that indicates Pugh may have been in the house at the time of the murder, and they have cell phone records that put him in the vicinity of the Ducsay home that day during the hours they believe the murder occurred. Police also have a piece of black tape they say is consistent with tape that Pugh had in his possession.
Also, police report that Alexandra Ducsay was talking to her current boyfriend, Jermaine Morton, on the phone on the morning of her murder, and according to police she told Jermaine to “hold on because her ex-boyfriend was at her house.”
According to an arrest affidavit, Alexandra’s mother told police that her daughter only had two boyfriends in her life. One was Pugh and the other was Morton, and police noted that at that time Pugh would have been the “ex-boyfriend” that Alexandra mentioned on the telephone.
Questioned about the murder over the years, Pugh has consistently denied killing Ducsay, police documents state. Pugh also denies being in Milford that day.
Chief Mello said Wednesday’s arrest is the first step, and there “is still a long way to go.” He said the investigation was “long and difficult.”
The case will be prosecuted by the Office of the State’ s Attorney for the Judicial District of Ansonia-Milford and the Office of the Chief State’ s Attorney.
The past six years have been very difficult for the Ducsay family, and Mello said he hopes the arrest of Pugh brings them “some solace.”