A pedestrian crosses Mass. Ave. safely at Orvis Road in February. Flags offer mute testimony. A pedestrian crosses Mass. Ave. safely at Orvis Road in February. Flags offer mute testimony.

The woman who died in December after she was hit by a car while pushing her walker on Mass. Ave. near Sabatino's has yet to be laid to rest, but a friend of hers is taking steps to make sure that happens.

Juliet Blackett of North Cambridge has paid $295 of her own money and a state agency has paid $1,100 for the cremation of Elba Ortiz-Delgado, known to neighbors at the Daniel F. Burns Apartments as Lucy.

The woman, initially described by police as homeless, died at Mass. General Hospital at 2:10 a.m. Friday, Dec. 20, according to her death certificate.

The driver of the car that police say struck Ortiz-Delgado, Paul S. Giragosian, 67, of Arlington, could face a further charge in the death near the longest unsignalized Mass. Ave. crosswalk in East Arlington. More than two months after the fatality, an investigation remains incomplete.

There are so many in society who have no one to stand up for them."

-- Juliet Blackett

While police proceeded through its procedures, Blackett and others tried to help seek a proper end for the woman who appears to have no local kin.

"There are so many in society who have no one to stand up for them," Blackett said in an interview in Arlington on Saturday, Feb. 1

Her initial anger about the details of the case as first reported in January by YourArlington had subsided some as she focused on how on to achieve a final resting place for Ortiz-Delgado.

"It takes effort, and things get complicated," she said. "There are people out there who need help. Those without next of kin have no one to stand up for them."

Many steps toward closure

Bringing closure for Ortiz-Delgado has meant working through a social worker to find out how to secure the body and pay for cremation once Arlington police determined no next of kin could be found.

The state Department of Transitional Assistance paid $1,100, and Blackett the balance. Others at the Burns Apartments say they will help, and one has offered money.

Once the office of the chief medical examiner in Boston agreed to release the body to her, Blackett contacted Joseph W. Casper, a South Boston funeral director who she called "wonderful." He arranged for the cremation in Duxbury.

Lucy's ashes are in a box in Blackett's apartment.

Others at Burns helped

A car whizzes over the crosswalk at Sabatino's. Flags aim to aid pedestrians.A car whizzes over the crosswalk at Sabatino's. Flags aim to aid pedestrians.

Three men who have helped Lucy during her life all live at the Burns, Cambridge Housing Authority apartments near Matignon High School. They declined to be named.

They helped her write letters; another made phone calls to her doctor and pharmacy regarding appointments, as did Blackett. One occasionally bought Lucy food.

Seeking final rest for them, Blackett thought they might be scattered in a ceremony, but because Lucy was likely a Catholic, she is working with the Rev. Charles E. Collins of St. John the Evangelist Church in North Cambridge. Father Collins is seeking a burial site, because Catholics recommend burying ashes, not scattering them.

The priest is also looking into a ritual for a service, which could be in the spring at the Burns Apartments, among those who knew Lucy.

"I thought this should be finished," said Blackett, who is not a Catholic.

She calls herself "no angel."

For one, she says she's angry.

For another, people get left behind and need help.

She calls South Boston funeral director Casper "wonderful" and "understanding," to advise her about her focus.

Accident-reconstruction report awaited

Meanwhile, the investigation into the Dec. 19 incident continues, Stefanie Goyette, speaking for the office of Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan, said Feb. 11.

She said State Police have yet to issue a report from the team who reconstructed the accident.

Asked how long such a report might take, Goyette said, "Six to eight months."

Chief Fred Ryan wrote in an email Feb. 11 that "the matter remains under investigation by the Arlington Police Department. We use investigative resources such as crash-reconstruction technicians as one element of our overall investigation.

"Once we receive the reconstruction analysis of the physical evidence from the crash scene, we will combine that with all other evidence gathered by APD investigators (witness statements, police reports, etc.) and work with the DA's Office to make a final decision on what, if any, additional charges may follow."

In mid-January, Ryan wrote that Arlington police "has gone to extraordinary measures in attempts to identify relatives of the deceased."

Police were unable to locate relatives, a step in the process that allowed Blackett to proceed with her effort.

Asked what measure town police took, Ryan responded: "With respect to identification of next of kin, we did an exhaustive search.

"This included searching many electronic databases, medical records, city clerk records, council on aging records, interviews with known associates and health care providers and many other investigative efforts."

Blackett believes Lucy may have living relatives in Puerto Rica, and she plans to see whether they can be located.

One correction from the earlier story, established by documents Blackett received: Lucy born Jan. 1, 1936, so was in fact 77 when she died, as police first reported.


Jan. 8, 2014: Lucy: ‘She was no longer with us in this world’

Dec. 21, 2013: Further charge possible in death at long Mass. Ave. crosswalk


This story was published Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014.