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Police Report: Intended victim of murder-for-hire lived downstairs from suspect

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — It was a house on Garfield Ave. in Providence where police say 50-year-old Michelle Larracuente was living when she tried to have her downstairs neighbor killed by a hitman.

“She’s a sweetheart,” said James Torres of the intended victim, who is the mother of a Providence police officer.

Torres says he lives on the third floor apartment, where Larracuente lived on the second floor and the victim lived on the first. She was an older woman.

“She brings me Thanksgiving dinner and stuff like that, ” Torres said.

A police report says the man Larracuente tried to hire to murder her neighbor turned her in, and worked as a confidential informant to help police investigate. During a recorded conversation, the police report says Larracuente told the man to “beat her up so bad, that she won’t recover from her injuries.” She also asked him to burn down a home on Higgins Ave. and vandalize one on Oakland Ave. Eyewitness News visited both homes, which were vacant but had painters working inside.

“She had signed a purchase and sale agreement, and maybe was less than happy that she was involved in that contract,” said Captain Michael Correia, a detective with the Providence Police Department. “The other one was some sort of dispute between the owner and herself.”

According to police, Larracuente paid the man a $150 down payment and was planning to pay up to $600 for him to commit the crimes.

“I don’t know what the going rate is for Solicitation to Commit Murder, but it did seem a little low,” Correia said. He also said the man who Larracuente attempted to hire is not a professional hitman, and is not a danger to the public. That man was not charged with a crime.

Back on Garfield Ave., Torres was shocked to hear his neighbor could go to such lengths–but he did know the two women had argued.

“A little confrontation, but I didn’t think something like this,” he said.

Larracuente was charged with Soliciting another to Commit Murder, and Soliciting another to Commit Arson. Police are still investigating a motive. She’s due back in court Wednesday.

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