Son charged with murder in 78-year-old mom's machete death in Queens

Mike Marza Image
Thursday, January 13, 2022
Police want to question son of woman killed in Queens home
(Previous coverage) Maria Diaz, 78, was found dead in her bedroom on Hillside Avenue in Queens Village

QUEENS VILLAGE, Queens (WABC) -- A 46-year-old man has been arrested and charged with murder in his mother's machete death in Queens last year.

Authorities say Osvaldo Diaz repeatedly stabbed and slashed 78-year-old Maria Diaz to death inside their Queens Village home on February 24, 2021.

"The defendant allegedly attacked his mother with a machete to the point of near-decapitation," District Attorney Melinda Katz said. "This outburst of violence has devastated the victim's family, which includes her other six children. The defendant fled the state but was apprehended and extradited to Queens."

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Katz said Osvaldo and Maria Diaz lived together in an apartment above a beauty salon, and on the day of the murder, the defendant's sister went to their home for a visit.

She sad the two women had previously planned to run some errands and take a walk, but when the sister arrived and called Maria Diaz on her cell phone, the 78-year-old woman never answered despite numerous calls.

Eventually, Katz said Osvaldo picked up and told his sister to go to the store.

According to the charges, when the sister left the building, the defendant was observed on video surveillance leaving the apartment.

When the woman returned, no one responded to her calls. That's when she summoned the property owner, who permitted her into the apartment, where she discovered her mother's body bleeding and wrapped in bedding.

Maria Diaz was pronounced dead at the scene.

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Katz said the defendant was on the run for just over a week when he was apprehended in New Jersey.

Diaz was returned to Queens Wednesday to face charges.

Diaz, of Hillside Avenue, was arraigned Wednesday afternoon before Queens Supreme Court Justice Ushir Pandit-Durant on a three-count indictment for second-degree murder and two counts of criminal possession of a weapon.

He faces 25 years to life in prison if convicted.


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