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Patrick De La Cerda murder: Timeline of events explored

A still from 48 Hours - The Ring: The Murder of Patrick De La Cerda (Image via 48 Hours/YouTube)
A still from 48 Hours - The Ring: The Murder of Patrick De La Cerda (Image via 48 Hours/YouTube)

The shocking murder of 25-year-old Florida man Patrick De La Cerda is the focus of CBS' new 48 Hours episode.

Titled The Ring: The Murder of Patrick De La Cerda, the official synopsis of the episode reads:

''An undelivered engagement ring leads to murder. "48 Hours" correspondent Peter Van Sant reports Saturday, November 13 at 10/9c on CBS and Paramount+.''

Patrick was found dead at his home on Februrary 27, 2018. Subsequent investigation revealed that he was killed by his fiancee's ex-boyfriend Gregory Bender. Here's a look at the complete timeline of events.


Patrick De La Cerda murder case: Exploring the timeline of events

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Per CBS News, in June 2017, Patrick De La Cerda and Jessica Devnani met on a dating app called 'Plenty Fish'.

The couple started seeing each other and grew closer as they spent a lot of time together. A few months later, Patrick told his family about his relationship with Jessica, and by December that year, he proposed to her, which she accepted. He'd given her a temporary ring at the time of the proposal but had planned to gift her a custom-made ring before the wedding.

On February 27, 2018, Patrick was expecting the ring to be delivered to his house when he was shot four times. Jessica started panicking when she did not hear from Patrick and rushed to the house. where she found him lying on the ground, dead.

Authorities found Patrick's computer missing from his home and discovered shell casings and bullets. Jessica spoke to the police about a suspect named Gregory Bender, Jessica's ex-boyfriend, with whom she was in a relationship for eight years. Per CBS News, Jessica broke up with him after she found out he was already married to another woman, Daymara Sanchez.

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

Bender was allegedly possessive and had sent threatening messages to Jessica after she had started dating Patrick. She eventually filed a restraining order, after which she did not hear from him for months till the day Patrick died, when he called her twice. Although she did not answer the calls, she told CBS she felt something was not right.

Authorities started looking into Bender, but there wasn't enough incriminating evidence to arrest him. However soon, the police came up with a crucial lead - a tip from Bender's ex-wife Daymara Sanchez. Sanchez told authorities that after she came across a news report about Patrick's murder, she suspected Bender, as she'd found notes in his notebook describing a murder plan.

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

The tip led the police to conduct a search of Bender's house, where they found the notes in a trash bin. Authorities also found shell casings that matched those found at the crime scene. The police subsequently arrested Bender.

The trial began on May 25, 2021, and went on for over three days, after which the jury found Gregory Bender guilty of murdering Patrick De La Cerda. Bender was subsequently sentenced to life in prison with no possibility of parole.

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Edited by Bhargav
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