Hunt for killer in Staten Island woman killed mar 3,2006
Hunt for killer in Staten Island
(Mariner's Harbor, Staten Island-WABC, March 4, 2006) - Police on Staten Island today are searching for a killer.
The victim has been identified as 22 year old Maria Perez, a mother of three.
Her body was discovered inside a shelter on Harbor Road in the Mariner's Harbor section yesterday afternoon. No word yet on how she was killed. Police questioned many of the other tenants of the shelter overnight.
The medical examiner's office is set to conduct an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death.
Arrest in Staten Island murder
(Mariner's Harbor-WABC, March 4, 2006) - A murder suspect is in police custody today on Staten Island.
Police arrested 30-year old Randy Punnett yesterday, a day after a 22 year-old woman was found dead inside a shelter home in Mariner's Harbor.
Cops have not said on how she was killed, but the medical examiner ruled the death a homicide. No word yet on a motive. The victim, Maria Perez, leaves behind three children.
The body of a Staten Island mother of three was discovered yesterday in the apartment of an upstairs neighbor - a man described by her husband as a spurned lover. Cops said they found Maria Perez, 22, fully clothed, hands bound behind her back and lying facedown, in a third-floor flat rented by a tenant identified only as Randy. "I'm so confused. I'm hurt. I just lost my best friend," said Perez's husband, Larry Dante Sapp, 39, who was helping her raise three children ages 6 months to 3 years.
"To be honest, she was having a fling with this guy, but she broke it off recently," Sapp said. "He must have called her upstairs to talk about it."
Sapp said he last saw his wife Wednesday night and had become increasingly worried about her.
Perez's aunt, Sylvia Fuentes, 42, said Sapp went upstairs in the Harbor Road building in Mariners Harbor about 4 p.m. yesterday and confronted Randy, who was standing in front of the closed door to his apartment.
"Larry said, 'I want to go inside,'" but the guy said, 'Sorry, man, I locked myself out. I have to go to the locksmith now.'"
Randy then left, Fuentes said.
His suspicions raised, Sapp called cops, who entered the apartment and found Perez's body.
Cops said it wasn't clear yet what killed her.
Because her hands were bound, relatives immediately thought she might have been the victim of the same killer who murdered Manhattan grad student Imette St.Guillen. But investigators said the crimes don't appear to be linked. Police were searching for the upstairs neighbor last night.