Evelyn Udell Smith died Tuesday following an attack Monday at her Boca Raton home. Details about Jorge Luis Dupre Lachazo, the man facing a murder charge in her death, began to emerge Wednesday.

BOCA RATON - The man accused in the beating death of a woman whose appliances he had just delivered for Best Buy didn’t work for the electronics giant. He worked for a company hired by a company hired by Best Buy.


Which raises the question: Who's coming into your home?


Boca Raton police have charged Jorge Luis Dupre Lachazo with murder in Monday’s attack on Evelyn Smith Udell, who died the following day.


She was a mother of two and a grandmother of six. Married for 55 years. A retired college library worker. And days short of her 76th birthday.


"It's just a horrific thing," her daughter-in-law, Sloane Udell, said Wednesday.


Police said they haven't determined what set off Dupre Lachazo, 21, who confessed to attacking Smith at her home in Colonnades at Glen Oaks, a neighborhood at Jog and Yamato roads just south of Spanish River High School. Arriving authorities found her in her laundry room, her clothes on fire.


"I need somebody. I need the police here," David Gonzalez, the delivery driver whom Dupre Lachazo was helping, told police amid sobs on a 911 recording city police provided Wednesday.


The dispatcher asked if he needed just paramedics, or police. Gonzales answered, "Both."



Best Buy says it has closed its store west of Boca Raton at least through Thursday out of respect for the Udells. It also said said it was hiring an independent security firm to review how it works with its delivery contractors.


It also said it "indefinitely" had cut ties with the delivery service for which Dupre Lachazo worked, a subcontractor to the distribution giant J.B. Hunt.


That contractor is XM Delivery of Miami. Records show it’s properly licensed but databases divulge little else about it. Manuel David Chavez, listed as its owner, hung up Wednesday on a Palm Beach Post reporter.


Arkansas-based J.B. Hunt did not respond Wednesday to several email and telephone inquiries.


Donna Davis, a professor of supply-chain management at the University of South Florida's Tampa campus, said Wednesday she wasn't familiar with Monday’s incident, and it's possible all the safeguards in the world would not have prevented it.


Best Buy says it requires third-party partners to conduct background checks and drug screenings. Davis said an outfit such as J.B. Hunt probably extensively vets its drivers, but it’s likely J.B. Hunt is not the company that comes to your door.


Such firms, Davis said, are in the hauling business. Hauling appliances and other items from a central location to a regional hub. A subcontractor specializing in installment then takes the appliances the last mile.


The problem, Davis said, is that the customer waiting for delivery isn't thinking the man or woman at her door works for some unnamed subcontractor. Or even for an outfit as big as J.B. Hunt. She's thinking Best Buy. And that provides a false sense of security.


"I would certainly understand why that woman relied on Best Buy's reputation," Davis said. "'If anything goes wrong, I can always call Best Buy and they'll make it right.'"


In a typical case, Davis said, the customer usually has to deal with something like a delivery person scratching the dryer on the way into the laundry room.


"They never would expect something like this," she said.


Dupre Lachazo remained in the Palm Beach County Jail on Wednesday.


He has told police he had been working for the delivery service for 20 months. The stop at the Udell home was the third of the day. He admitted he recently had used cocaine and smoked marijuana through a vape pen.


According to the 911 recording, after Gonzalez asked for police to come to the house, the dispatcher patched in an interpreter, who relayed the man’s frantic description of what had occurred.


About five minutes into the call, a man presumed to be Dupre Lachazo is heard in the background. This likely is when he ran past Gonzalez, got into the company truck and drove off. He was captured a few minutes later on Glades Road between Jog Road and Florida’s Turnpike.


"He's escaping," the interpreter relayed to the dispatcher in the 911 recording. The two men then spoke further, and the interpreter repeatedly asked, "Que esta pasando?" - "What is happening?" - but got no reply.


Dupre Lachazo's background is as vague as his possible motive. Born in Cuba, he has no previous arrests, according to state records.


His Facebook page, most of it in Spanish, has at the top two proverbs: "Not everyone who laughs with you is your friend," and "Don't extend your hand twice to the person who bites you."


The page includes a January 2017 posting showing a photo of him in a class during which he was pursuing a GED diploma. And one from May of that year in which he thanked his mom for buying him an apparently new Honda.


"Thanks to hard work, we achieve things we never thought possible. Thanks to the support that’s always there from my mom," he said in the post.


The mother replied: "See how beautiful my life is."


But someone also posted onto his page a link to Tuesday's Palm Beach Post story about the murder charges, and others followed with scathing comments. One said in Spanish, "I ask myself why something so diabolical and cruel." Then, switching to English in the same post, the person wrote, "that poor woman didn't deserve a death like that."


Miami-Dade County court records show Dupre Lachazo’s driver license was suspended July 8 after he failed to show up for a July 5 hearing on a charge of running a stop sign. After he got the Honda from his mother in 2017, court records show, he piled up 15 traffic citations in 25 months for violations that included speeding and knowingly driving with a suspended license.


Evelyn Smith Udell had lived with her husband in Boca Raton since 2002. They moved there to be closer to their two sons, Harran and Maury, and their grandchildren. She worked in the library at Florida Atlantic University.


Udell was born in Harrisburg, Pa., in 1943, and graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Penn State in 1964. That’s where she met her husband, Joel, whom she married that year.


She later earned a Master’s degree in library science from Drexel University. Before FAU, she worked as a librarian at LaSalle University and Gwynedd Mercy College in Philadelphia.


She "was a devoted wife, dedicated mother and exceptionally loving grandmother. We are devastated beyond words," her family said in a statement.


The family thanked Boca Raton police for their quick capture of Dupre Lachazo, as well as Delray Medical Center "for the excellent care they provided to our mother."


Funeral details are private for now, the family said.


Staff writer Olivia Hitchcock and staff researcher Melanie Mena contributed to this story.


EK@pbpost.com


@eliotkpbp