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Ex-boyfriend accused of killing Brockton woman in driveway dies after ingesting battery acid

Suspect arrested in murder of grandmother in Brockton
Suspect arrested in murder of grandmother in Brockton 02:28

BROCKTON - The man accused of stabbing 48-year-old Veronica Goncalves to death in her Brockton driveway Wednesday afternoon has died, authorities said Thursday.

Plymouth County District Attorney Tim Cruz said 56-year-old Joao Correia passed away late Wednesday night after ingesting battery acid following the attack.

Investigators called the assault on Goncalves "savage, brutal and unprovoked."   

Police were called to a home on Crescent Street Wednesday afternoon and found her bleeding in the driveway. She had been stabbed in the head and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Officers later found Correia inside the apartment with bloody clothes. They brought him to the police station for an interview. 

"Correia told investigators that he had ingested battery acid and suffered a medical episode. Correia was transported to Good Samaritan Hospital before being medflighted to Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. Correia was pronounced dead last night at 9:36 p.m.," Cruz said in a statement Thursday afternoon.

There's no word yet on a motive, but investigators said Correia was an ex-boyfriend of Goncalves. 

"We're still in shock with what took place, what happened, putting the pieces together," Goncalves's nephew Pedro Rosario said Wednesday. "As you can see, we have no answer."

Goncalves had just returned from dropping her daughter off at work and had her 2-year-old grandchild in the car.

"It seems she was attacked right inside of her car," said Rosario. "And her granddaughter was in the back seat."

He added that the granddaughter was not physically hurt and is with family, but she is badly shaken. 

"Preliminarily, this appears to have been a targeted attack and not a random act of violence," Cruz said.

Her family said that Goncalves had not been in the United States for long and they don't know why someone would want to kill her.

Rosario described Goncalves as "very hard-working, independent, strong-minded woman - always look out for her kids."

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