Gerard Lopes, 21, Charged With Murder in the Death of His Adoptive Mother

Gerard Lopes, the 21-year-old adopted son of Pembroke Pines realtor Natalie Belmonte, has been charged with first-degree murder in her death, police say.

The cops uncovered a body yesterday morning in a marsh less than a mile from their home -- which was later identified as being Belmonte's.

Belmonte had gone missing around 2:30 a.m. Sunday after getting back from a graduation party with Lopes.

According to our comrades at True Crime Report, Lopes told police his mother had gone straight to bed that night, and when he woke up in the morning to take their dogs on a walk, he told investigators he noticed his mother was missing.

Police arrived at the home, and the keys, purse, and other items belonging to the mother of three were still there, and there was no sign someone had forced entry into the house.

A neighbor's surveillance camera had captured someone carrying "a large object" out of their house and driving away with it in Belmonte's Lexus.

That Lexus was later seen near a Dumpster at a nearby animal hospital -- the same Dumpster the cops found some bloody bedding in.

Although cops had denied that Lopes was a suspect, the rumor departments were in full swing identifying Lopes as their main suspect, since Lopes had previously been charged with stealing $20,000 in jewelry from Belmonte.

Police have still not made mention of any motive, and his arrest affidavit had not been released at the time of this post.

The Miami Herald reports that police believe that Lopes was alone with Belmonte at the time of her disappearance.

Lopes is currently behing held in the Broward County jail.

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