NYPD: Bronx woman found dead with rosary beads stuffed down throat

Joe Torres Image
Thursday, August 31, 2017
NYPD: Bronx woman found dead with rosary beads stuffed down throat
Joe Torres has more on the Bronx woman found dead.

HIGHBRIDGE, Bronx (WABC) -- A woman was discovered dead with rosary beads stuffed down her throat in a Bronx apartment building Tuesday evening, according to police.

The 33-year-old mother of three, identified as Hellen Hernandez, was found in the hallway of a building on Anderson Avenue in Highbridge just before 5:30 p.m.

When police arrived, they reportedly found a 34-year-old man naked in the street, yelling something about the devil. Responding officers had to use a taser to subdue him. He was taken to Bronx Lebanon Hospital for evaluation.

As stunned neighbors consoled each other, crime scene investigators went to work looking for clues and answers. Her family placed candles and flowers outside the building where she lived and died. They didn't want to comment, but neighbors and friends described her as a loving a caring mother.

"She was very, very respected in the building," neighbor Terry Matthews said. "They would come out, the kids would come play here in this area. She kept a close eye on her children."

Martha Carrasquillo has known her for years.

"Before anyone says anything that is bad about her, regardless of her ups and downs in life, she was a beautiful person and she was always with her boys," she said. "Anytime I seen her, she was with her boys."

Investigators are looking at the man, believed to be Hernandez's boyfriend, as the prime suspect. He reportedly has a lengthy criminal record, but so far, he has not been charged with Hernandez's death.

"I just know that she was dating him for what they call 'a minute' now, and they were trying to keep her away from him," she said. "But we don't know what happened."

An autopsy will determine the woman's cause of death.

"It's very sad," neighbor Lydia Boateng said. "I have two kids, and then leaving those children at this stage is very, very sad. And those children deserve to have a mother."

Anyone with information is urged to contact police.