Everett mourns death of Ersilia Cataldo Matarazzo
By Brendan Clogston
Everett was shocked Wednesday morning when beloved resident and public servant Ersilia Cataldo Matarazzo was found dead in her car, allegedly murdered by her estranged husband, Emilio.
The 50-year-old member of the Board of Assessors was leaving her parents’ home on Cedar Street, in which she had been living while in the midst of a difficult divorce, to go to work at St. Anthony’s Church on Wednesday morning when she was shot several times in the torso with a “shotgun-like” weapon. First responders rushed to the scene at around 8:40, but she was pronounced dead at the scene.
Police began searching for Emilio, and Everett High, the Keverian, and the Parlin Schools were locked down as a precaution. At 10:30, he turned himself in at the Everett Police Station and was taken into custody. He has been charged with murder.
During Emilio’s arraignment in Malden District Court on Thursday morning, prosecutors stated that Ersilia told family members that Emilio had been violent and had once strangled her. Shortly afterward she filed for divorce, moving in with her parents in Everett while Emilio lived in Peabody. Unwilling to accept the separation, Emilio had spent the past few weeks attempting to persuade Ersilia to come back, mailing her a check for $20,000 and showing up at a holiday party where she worked and refusing to leave, ultimately causing a scene. Ersilia told friends the night before she died that she was afraid of Emilio. Minutes before murdering his wife, he spoke with one of their three adult children on the phone, telling him “What is done, is done.”
The event shocked and dismayed many in the city. Ersilia, a member of a large family and a second cousin to the mayor, touched many during her lifetime in the city.
Maureen and Giovanni DiPierro, Ersilia’s aunt and uncle, held a brief press conference Thursday morning during which Maureen read a statement calling Ersilia’s death “a very difficult loss.”
“She was a fabulous mom, very supportive of her three children, a devoted daughter who has always been there for her parents,” said DiPierro. She grew up in Everett, and loved her hometown. She served on the school committee, board of registrars, and was currently on the board of assessors, a member of the Kiwanis, and a devoted church member. Not only was she employed as a secretary of St. Anthony’s, but she also organized the Padre Pio and St. Anthony’s Festivals. She touched a lot of lives all around her, and I encourage everyone to look at the social media posts about Ersilia. The tributes are just incredible. … I thank you for your thoughts and prayers, and for your patience, and I ask you to please respect our privacy as we grieve.”
During Wednesday’s press conference, Police Chief Steven Mazzie expressed “on behalf of the mayor” the city’s condolences to the family.”
“Ms. Matarazzo was very well known. She had a large extended family. Our heart goes out to them,” said Mazzie. “She was a lovely lady, very involved in the community. I’ve dealt with her at community events. She is well-known, well-liked, well-respected. Sad to see something like that happen to a person like that, especially around the holiday season.”
The investigation is being conducted by the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office, the Everett Police Department and the State Police.