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CBS' 48 Hours: How was the Patrick De La Cerda murder case cracked?

Jessica Devnani and Patrick De La Cerda (Image via CBS News)
Jessica Devnani and Patrick De La Cerda (Image via CBS News)

The upcoming episode of CBS' 48 Hours focuses on the murder of a young man named Patrick De La Cerda in Florida.

The episode, titled The Ring: The Murder of Patrick De La Cerda, will air on CBS on Saturday, July 9, 2022. Its official synopsis, per CBS, reads:

''An undelivered engagement ring leads to murder. "48 Hours" correspondent Peter Van Sant reports Saturday, July 9 at 10/9c on CBS and streaming on Paramount+.''

Read further ahead to find out more details about the case.


CBS' 48 Hours: Who was Patrick De La Cerda?

A couple had been planning their life together when suddenly Patrick De La Cerda was gunned down at his front door. He had been waiting for the engagement ring. Did that lead to his murder? cbsn.ws/3okPLaK https://t.co/qpROQ6QWaf

Patrick De La Cerda was a 25-year-old man from Florida who was engaged to a woman named Jessica Devnani, whom he met on a dating app in 2017. The two were looking forward to their marriage.

Per CBS News, Patrick had previously given her a temporary ring but had planned to gift a custom-made ring before the wedding. He was expecting the ring to be delivered to his house in Deltona when, on February 27, 2018, he was shot dead.

Jessica started worrying when she did not hear from Patrick that morning. She rushed to the house and found him lying on the ground dead. Authorities found several key pieces of evidence, including shell casings and bullets.

Jessica told the police about her ex-boyfriend Gregory Bender, with whom she was in a relationship for eight years, according to CBS News. While dating Jessica, Gregory was married to a woman named Daymara Sanchez. Jessica eventually broke up with Gregory.

However, after their split, Gregory often pestered her and sent threatening messages after she started dating Patrick. She eventually filed a restraining order, after which she did not hear from Gregory for months.

Jessica told detectives that on the morning Patrick died, she received two calls from Gregory, which she did not pick up.


CBS' 48 Hours: Did Gregory Bender kill Patrick De La Cerda?

In 2018, Patrick De La Cerda ordered a handmade, work-of-art engagement ring for his fiancée, but was killed before he could present it to her. Go inside the story of a complex murder plot, tonight at 10/9c on #48Hours. cbsn.ws/3qz86n3 https://t.co/EqHTbCPDT6

In a significant development, Daymara Sanchez tipped authorities off with an extremely crucial piece of information. She told them she found notes in Gregory's spiral notebook that seemed like a murder plan. Gregory dismissed this as mere ''fantasy.''

After conducting a search of Gregory's house, police found notes describing the murder plan in a trash bin at his home. This proved to be crucial as it had Patrick's address and instructions on how to enter the house, among other things.

The note (obtained via CBS News) read:

"Wait for confirm that he is alone. Then turn off cell phones."

Police also discovered shell casings that matched those found at Patrick's house on February 27, 2018.

They subsequently arrested Gregory, and the trial began on May 25, 2021. He was ultimately found guilty of first-degree murder by the jury on May 28, 2021, and received a life sentence with no possibility of parole.

You can watch 48 Hours - The Ring: The Murder of Patrick De La Cerda on CBS on Saturday, July 9, 2022.

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Edited by Rachel Syiemlieh
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