WATERTOWN, Conn. – A UPS employee accused of fatally assaulting a co-worker he was helping deliver packages told police he stabbed the man before fleeing into the woods, according to an arrest warrant released Thursday.
When he was taken into custody Wednesday afternoon by state troopers at a gas station in Plymouth, Elijah David Bertrand, 19, of Bristol, asked officers, “What took you guys so long to find me,” according to the warrant, posted online by the Waterbury Republican-American.
Bertrand was arraigned Thursday on murder charges, accused of killing UPS driver Nathan Burk, 28, of Waterbury. The arrest warrant said Bertrand was working as Burk’s “helper/runner” on Tuesday, the day of the assault.
Bond for Bertrand was kept at $2 million, WTNH-TV reported. He is scheduled to appear in court again Jan. 6. The Republican-American reported Bertrand did not enter a plea Thursday, and he is not listed as being represented by an attorney.
A motive remains unclear.
Bertrand and Burk apparently were riding in the same vehicle, State Trooper Joseu Dorelus said at a news conference Wednesday. According to the arrest warrant, the pair stopped at the home of Burk’s girlfriend and had dinner, staying for about an hour, before they were supposed to turn in the UPS truck.
Burk’s girlfriend began calling her boyfriend about a half-hour later, expecting he would have returned home by then because the house is near the UPS warehouse. But the calls went unanswered, the warrant said.
Troopers initially responded to a call about an accident involving a UPS truck in Watertown on Tuesday evening. They found the vehicle in the northbound shoulder of Route 8. Burk was unresponsive and slumped over the steering wheel, with what appeared to be stab wounds.
A folding style knife with blood on it, which Bertrand’s father later confirmed to police belonged to his son, was found at the scene, the warrant said.
Burk was taken to a hospital and pronounced dead.
Dozens of Burk’s loved ones and co-workers gathered outside the Watertown UPS facility Wednesday. Some told NBC Connecticut they want answers.
“It’s just heartbreaking. We just want to know why. Why did this happen to him? He was such a good soul,” said Kerry Langdeau, of Waterbury, told the TV station.
“Got up in the morning. Was all set to probably deliver 200 packages and go home and he’s never making it home,” said Sean O’Brien, secretary treasurer of Teamsters Joint Council 10, a labor union that represents drivers all across New England.
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