Photo: Colombian homicide fugitive Acosta following arrest on April 13 by ERO Boston officers near Belmont, Massachusetts. Photo by ICE ERO Boston.
It’s a story straight out of a true crime podcast. A man with a murderous secret was living a quiet suburban life on a dead end street. But it was his wish to be just like most of his neighbors that opened the door to his downfall.
That suburban byway is B Street near Waverley Square and adjacent to Belmont’s Town Yard, and the man who lived for nearly a quarter century with his family in a small condo at the end of the street was Carlos Alberto Rendon.
But Rendon was the alias he hid behind as he attempted to escape from justice … that is until early Wednesday morning, April 13, when special agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation arrested William Hernando Usma Acosta for the 1994 murder of his wife, Laura Rose Agudelo, and the attempted murder of her daughter in Medellin, Columbia.
“Acosta is a convicted cold-blooded killer who thought he could evade justice by entering the United States and creating a new identity for himself so he could live under the radar. He needs to face justice for what he did, and today’s arrest ensures that he will,” said Joseph R. Bonavolonta, special agent in charge of the FBI Boston Division.
On November 14, 1996, a court in Medellin sentenced Acosta to 45 years in prison for aggravated murder of his wife during a domestic assault, aggravated attempted murder, and illegal possession of a firearm. That sentence was later reduced to 28 years and six months based on new sentencing guidelines. Colombia subsequently issued an international arrest warrant for Usma Acosta to serve his sentence.
According to immigration records, Acosta, who was then going by his newly-assumed identity of Carlos Alberto Rendon, arrived in the United States illegally in 1995 when he crossed the Mexican border. In 1998, he married an American citizen and obtained lawful, permanent resident status while living in Somerville. Since that time, Rendon moved to Belmont with his wife and son into a small condo at the edge of the DPW Yard and lived a very quiet life away from all scrutiny.
But in 2020, Acosta decided to become an American and submitted his application for naturalization to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services which began the unraveling of his true identity. As part of that application, Acosta submitted a Colombian birth certificate and fingerprints. The FBI compared his fingerprints against those provided by the Colombian National Police and determined they were an exact match with the murderer Acosta. Investigators also determined the Colombian birth certificate that Rendon/Acosta submitted was fraudulent.
In June 2020, special agents with the FBI Boston Division’s Violent Crimes Task Force received information that Usma Acosta may be residing in the greater Boston area. The FBI’s Violent Crimes Task Force tracked Usma Acosta’s whereabouts to his home in Belmont and he was arrested without incident as he was heading to work in Waltham.
Proceedings to remove Acosta from the United States for violating the conditions of his legal permanent residency status will be commenced by U. S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement which will transfer him to Colombian law enforcement authorities who issued the warrant for his arrest.
“Today’s arrest has ensured that this dangerous and convicted killer will face justice for his crimes,” said Todd M. Lyons, Field Office Director, Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO), U.S. Immigration and Customers Enforcement (ICE), Boston. “Acosta will no longer pose a threat to the residents of the Commonwealth thanks to the tireless efforts of an outstanding team of law enforcement professionals in both the United States and Colombia.”
They won the house in a lottery. It must be awful to know the people who didn’t get the house lost to a murderer.