A Lewiston man suspected of killing his pregnant fiancée by running her over with a vehicle waived extradition Thursday in a New York courtroom and was returned to Maine to face a murder charge.

Deus was driven back to Maine by state police and Lewiston police detectives, arriving at the Androscoggin County Jail in Auburn around 6 p.m. Thursday, said state police spokesman Steve McCausland. Deus was expected to make his first court appearance in Superior Court at 9 a.m. Friday. McCausland said he would be charged with murder.

Deus, 33, is suspected of using his SUV to run down Laudrinha Kubeloso late Tuesday afternoon on Howe Street in Lewiston. Kubeloso, 32, was taken to a local hospital but neither she nor her 4-month-old fetus survived.

Police have not said whether Deus is the father of Kubeloso’s baby.

The hit-and-run spurred a manhunt for Deus late Tuesday into Wednesday morning that included federal authorities because it was anticipated he might try to leave the country.

Deus was found at about 8 a.m. Wednesday aboard a plane at JFK International Airport in New York. He was arrested about 10 minutes before the plane was set to depart for Port-Au-Prince, Haiti.


Lewiston Police Lt. Michael McGonagle said that before Tuesday, local officers had never had any dealings with either Deus or Kubeloso, who were both recent asylum seekers from Angola.

However, after police began investigating the hit-and-run, McGonagle said they learned that the couple were having problems, although nothing was ever communicated to police. Kubeloso had no protection from abuse order against Deus.

Pastor Jean Pierre Tshamala of the Church of All Nations in Auburn, however, said the relationship between the two had deteriorated since they got engaged. He said Kubeloso called off the wedding after she caught Deus having a relationship with another woman.

Tshamala told the Portland Press Herald on Wednesday that people in the community heard Deus threaten Kubeloso, telling her, “I’m going to kill you one day.”

Kubeloso didn’t tell any of her friends that she was pregnant, said Nadia Ngimbi, 36, a friend who knew Kubeloso in Angola, where they both lived in the capital city, Luanda.

At first, Deus appeared to a “good person, a family man,” Ngimbi said, speaking in French through a translator. But over time he became increasingly strict.


“He told her what to do and what not to do,” she said.

Deus had a domineering personality and used a “big voice” when speaking to Kubeloso and other women, Ngimbi said, adding that the couple’s relationship become more contentious and they argued frequently.

The couple never lived together, said Ngimbi, who believes that Deus is probably the father of the baby because she never saw Kubeloso with another man.

“She was a good woman, and good behaved,” Ngimbi said.

When Ngimbi saw news of the hit-and-run on television and the photograph of the blue Suzuki that had struck Kubeloso, she immediately recognized it as Deus’ vehicle. She also recognized his license plate, she said.

Ngimbi said she and Kubeloso moved to the United States around the same time, in June 2013.


Though Kubeloso had only been in the Lewiston/Auburn area a short time, her death came as a tremendous shock to her friends.

“We all loved her. She brightened our place up,” said Jan Willson, director of Hope House, a community support organization that works with many immigrant women and where Kubeloso volunteered. “It’s amazing somebody who was here such a short time would impact so many people.”

On Thursday evening, nearly 50 people, mostly women, gathered at the Hope House Family Support Center on College Street to get updates on the arrest and funeral plans, and to pray and sing.

A group of friends sang a mournful a capella, with just four words, “Thank you, Jesus. Hallelujah.” They sang in three languages, English, French and Lingala, a language spoken in several African countries, including Angola.

Tshamala told the group that no funeral date could be set until police released Kubeloso’s body. He said she has no relatives in the United States, but that a sister in Belgium will fly to Maine to represent the family at the funeral. Hope House is helping the immigrants raise money for the funeral, and Tshamala is asking people to donate money to help pay for the cost.

Willson, who operates Hope House with her husband, Bruce Willson, said they saw Deus and Kubeloso together only once, when she brought him over the resource center at 91 College St. last spring.


Jan Willson said Deus never attended community potlucks with Kubeloso, who never really spoke about her relationship or her pregnancy.

Willson said there were no obvious signs, like bruises or major mood changes, that Kubeloso was being abused. In fact, she worked at the welcome desk when the center sponsored a workshop on recognizing domestic abuse and how to leave an abusive relationship safely, Willson said.

There was a period of a few weeks when Kubeloso didn’t volunteer as often at the center. But Willson said that was not unusual, since Kubeloso was taking classes and applying for jobs. She always remained friendly when they saw each other on the street.

Kubeloso lived across the street from the center.

“She knew we were a resource,” Willson said. “We saw her. It wasn’t like we were worried about her. There weren’t any signs that we saw. If we had seen signs of struggle we would have reached out to her.”

On Thursday afternoon, three men who were sitting on the porch in front of Kubeloso’s apartment complex said that although they didn’t live there, they knew her and that she didn’t show any signs of distress.


A downstairs neighbor who would not give his name said Deus visited Kubeloso regularly.

“They never fought. I never heard them upstairs,” he said.

Ana “Baby” Pemba attended a class in English with Kubeloso and also knew her through Hope House. Pemba saw Kubeloso on Tuesday in class, just before she was killed. Kubeloso seemed down, Pemba said, but when asked, attributed her mood to being tired.

Pemba, a musician who was forced to flee Angola because she made music that spoke out against violence against women, didn’t know that Kubeloso was pregnant.

“She was so quiet,” Pemba said. “She didn’t want people to know things about her.”

Zam Zam Mohamud, a Somali immigrant and a local leader, was pleased that police worked so quickly to catch Deus and that the Lewiston community has come together to support Kubeloso’s friends.


“We have our differences when we are happy, “she said. “But when a crisis happens, we are all together as one community.”

Staff Writer Tom Bell contributed to this report.

Eric Russell can be contacted at 791-6344 or at:


Twitter: @PPHEricRussell

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