A landlord was allegedly killed by her tenant in their East Elmhurst home (Picture: Google Maps)
A teenager allegedly strangled his landlord to death during a dispute over unpaid rent and left the body to be found by her son the next day.
Davi Vidal, 19, was arrested in connection with the death of Leo Zoraida, 55, who was discovered with scratches on her face inside her home in the Queens borough of New York City.
Zoraida’s son called police after finding her body on the floor of the home on 96th Street near 32nd Avenue in East Elmhurst at 5.15pm on Tuesday, the New York Daily News reported.
Cops initially thought Zoraida was beaten to death, but her autopsy revealed that she died of strangulation.
Vidal, who lived upstairs, was arrested later on Tuesday.
The teen attacked Zoraida over rent he had not paid. He admitted to strangling her and then pushing her down the stairs, prosecutors said.
‘When she fell, I didn’t help her because I was scared,’ Vidal allegedly told cops who arrested him.
‘I didn’t know what to do, I’m not a doctor.
‘It’s my fault that she died because I pushed her.’
Vidal claimed that he called Zoraida’s name after pushing her down but that she did not respond.
‘I turned out the lights because I didn’t want to see her there lying on the floor,’ he told officers.
Zoraida was pronounced dead by an emergency worker who responded to the scene, the New York Post reported.
Vidal has been charged with murder. He was being held without bail during his arraignment in Queens Criminal Court on Thursday.
An investigation into the incident is ongoing.
Zoraida’s death comes a month after a Brooklyn landlord set fire to an apartment where his tenants stopped paying rent, forcing the parents to toss four of their six children down to neighbors to save them.
And two weeks ago, a man was arrested for allegedly kidnapping and murdering a Washington state couple he was renting from who were trying to evict him. The bodies of the couple were discovered three weeks later at a military base.
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