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‘An evil, ruthless, soulless man’: Florida man sentenced for brutal rape and murder of NY woman after nearly 2 decades

Christopher Gonzalez appears in a mugshot

Christopher Gonzalez (Collier County Sheriff’s Office)

A 41-year-old Florida man who sexually assaulted and strangled a 25-year-old woman to death before discarding her body on the side of a parkway nearly 20 years ago will spend at least several decades in a New York state penitentiary.

Westchester County Judge Robert Neary on Friday sentenced Christopher Gonzalez to 20 years to life in prison for the brutal 2005 slaying of Angel Serbay, according to a press release from the Westchester District Attorney’s Office.

Serbay’s mother read a victim impact statement before the judge handed down the sentence.

“While I am grateful that her murderer, Christopher Gonzalez, was eventually caught and am thankful that law enforcement never gave up on catching him, the years of waiting have taken a toll on me and have been excruciating,” she said. “I do not forgive Christopher Gonzalez. I believe him to be an evil, ruthless, soulless man.”

Authorities say Gonzalez raped, beat, and strangled Serbay, a Yonkers mother, on Sept. 3, 2005. He then wrapped her body in a sheet and tossed it on the shoulder of the Sprain Brook Parkway in Greensburgh, about 25 miles north of New York City. Her remains were spotted by a passerby who contacted the New York State police.

A subsequent joint investigation by the NYSP and the New York City Police Department linked through forensics Serbay’s death to another woman who had been murdered in the Bronx five years earlier.

That victim, Dora Delvalle Almontaser, was 19 when she was raped and strangled to death with a telephone cord while house-sitting for her uncle in the Bronx in 2000. Police retrieved fluids and a fingerprint from the victim and the crime scene. At the time, no matches for either were found, but police created a “John Doe” profile based on the presumed killer’s DNA.

Authorities said that DNA evidence recovered from DNA evidence from Serbay’s body matched the DNA profile of Almontaser’s killer, but the profile did not match anybody in law enforcement databases at the time. The two cases went cold.

In November 2017, a Bronx detective re-opened Almontaser’s case and re-ran the fingerprint from the suspected killer. This time, the fingerprint came back as a match for Gonzalez, who had been arrested eight months earlier for driving without a license.

Gonzalez reportedly paid $500 bond and was back home in Naples, Florida, after his traffic violation. But detectives with the New York State police and the NYPD were soon knocking on his door.

He was arrested and charged with Almontaser’s murder while the second murder investigation continued.

In May 2019, Gonzalez was indicted in Westchester County for Serbay’s murder. He was charged with two counts of murder in the first degree, three counts of murder in the second degree, and one count each of rape in the first degree and criminal sexual act in the first degree.

While in the Empire State, Gonzalez lived blocks away from each of the women he was accused of raping and killing.

In December, Gonzalez pleaded guilty to committing both murders in exchange for prosecutors agreeing to recommend he serve 20 years to life in prison for each count.

“Angel Serbay was murdered and inhumanely left on the side of the road, and now 18 years later, we have gotten justice for her family, friends and community,” Westchester D.A. Miriam E. Rocah said in a statement. “Today’s sentence holds this defendant accountable for his heinous crime.”

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Jerry Lambe is a journalist at Law&Crime. He is a graduate of Georgetown University and New York Law School and previously worked in financial securities compliance and Civil Rights employment law.