Community holds vigil for woman allegedly stabbed to death by boyfriend in East Harlem apartment

Jim Dolan Image
Tuesday, April 30, 2024
Community holds vigil for woman fatally stabbed in Manhattan apartment
Jim Dolan has more on the vigil for 33-year-old Melanie Woods.

EAST HARLEM, Manhattan (WABC) -- A candlelight vigil was held Monday night in Harlem to honor the memory of a woman found stabbed to death inside her bathtub.

The victim, 33-year-old Melanie Woods, loved traveling the world. She was smart and successful and leaning in on life, and for her neighbors, she was the best friend anyone could hope for.

"She was just the most lovely, loving, charismatic... just so smart, beautiful. She was just the best," said Marissa, one of Woods' neighbors.

The community sang hymns for Woods on Monday night. They lit candles and placed them at the doorstep of her Harlem home.

Police say Woods was stabbed and slashed to death inside her third-floor apartment last Tuesday by a boyfriend she was trying to leave. He has since been charged with her murder.

Read a statement posted on the family's GoFundMe page at Monday's vigil.

"She was someone who always rooted for the underdog and loved to see people thrive and succeed. She was a vibrant soul who brought the best in anyone her, this we will never forget," the statement said.

The candles in time will dim, while the balloons will scrape across the blue Harlem sky and vanish with the grizzly headlines of the day. The violence that led to Woods' murder though shows no sign of fading as easily.

Stephanie McGraw, a survivor herself, knows that too well.

"All these women have been murdered, right here in our community. Underserved and marginalized women, Black and brown and Latina women. When are you going to do something about domestic violence," McGraw said.

McGraw founded the group We All Really Matter (WARM) to help save women in troubled and violent relationships, and they have saved many.

Woods' family and her friends know firsthand how much more work there is to do.

"Complete shock... she was such a light," Marissa said.

ALSO READ | Accused squatter rented out rooms in owner's house | 7 On Your Side Investigates

Dan Krauth has the latest on the continuing saga of the squatter's actions.


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