Car dealer pays off vic­tim’s lease

The News-Times - - FRONT PAGE - By Ju­lia Perkins

BETHEL — After Emily Todd was killed in Bridge­port, her fam­ily did not want to look at the car po­lice said the mur­der sus­pect stole.

But there were still two years re­main­ing on the 25-year-old woman’s lease, and her fam­ily thought they would have to pay it off.

Yet, thanks to Dan­bury Kia, the fam­ily will not have

to see the car again. Nor, will the fam­ily pay for it.

“It just felt like the right thing to do,” said Sal Si­nardi, gen­eral sales man­ager, who han­dled the deal­er­ship’s pay­ment of the lease. “I didn’t give it much thought.”

Greg Henry, Todd’s un­cle who shared the story in a Bethel Face­book group, said he and a friend took the car to Dan­bury Kia on Tuesday, with lit­tle hope the fam­ily could break the lease.

He met with Si­nardi and ex­plained the sit­u­a­tion.

“Within min­utes, Mr. Si­nardi was over­come with emo­tion,” Henry wrote on the Face­book page. “It was all over his face.”

Si­nardi said all he could think of was his 21-year-old daugh­ter, who goes to school in Florida, and how he could not imag­ine los­ing her.

“I was heart­bro­ken,” he said. “I could see the pain on their faces.”

He said he knew he couldn’t al­low Henry to take the car home.

Si­nardi checked out the car for dam­age and for how many miles it had. He then went back to his com­puter and fi­nal­ized the al­most $16,900 pay­ment.

“We’ll take a small loss, but it's what­ever,” Si­nardi said.

When Si­nardi told him the deal­er­ship bought the car, Henry was in shock.

“He started to tear up, which made us all tear up a

lit­tle bit,” Si­nardi said. “He lit­er­ally said he felt like he went numb.”

In the Face­book post, Henry de­scribed “goose­bumps, a hot flash and tears.”

“My friend and I just stared at each other un­able to get a word out for what seemed an eter­nity,” he wrote. “This was con­trary to what I was pre­pared for. In my mind I had gone over the con­ver­sa­tion(s) that I was plan­ning on hav­ing in hopes that some­one would work out some way to lessen the blow to (my sis­ter) Jenn and (brother-in-law) Tommy.”

Henry could not be reached for fur­ther com­ment Thurs­day.

Todd was found shot to death near the boat ramp on Seav­iew Av­enue in Bridge­port on Dec. 9. Po­lice have said Bran­don Roberts, 26, con­fessed to killing her, as well as shoot­ing an­other woman in Washington Park in 2017.

Todd, who grad­u­ated

from Bethel High School in 2011 and worked on the mem­ory care unit at Saint John Paul II Cen­ter, has been de­scribed as gen­er­ous and car­ing.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to ben­e­fit her fam­ily. The com­mu­nity can also do­nated to the Avielle Foun­da­tion in Todd’s name.

Si­nardi said the deal­er­ship will fix some of the dam­age to the car caused by the mur­der sus­pect and then sell it or send it to an auc­tion.

Si­nardi has two sons who work at Dan­bury Kia with him.

“Hope­fully they see this as an ex­am­ple of do­ing the right thing,” he said.

After Henry posted the story to the Face­book page, Si­nardi’s in­box was flooded with emails from peo­ple thank­ing him for his kind­ness.

“I’ve been com­pletely blown away,” Si­nardi said. “To me it was the small­est, lit­tle thing I could have done.”

Con­trib­uted photo

Emily Todd’s 2011 Bethel High School year­book photo.

Photo cour­tesy of Todd fam­ily

An un­dated pho­to­graph of Emily Todd.

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