After a four day manhunt, the suspect of a triple murder in a Staten Island hotel has been arrested.
On Wednesday, February 10, a maid was going room-to-room at a Ramada Inn in Staten Island, New York. She got to one of the occupied rooms and knocked. When no one answered, the maid allowed herself entry and found a grisly murder scene awaiting her.
A 26-year-old woman and her three children laid around the room, still and bloody.
Rebecca Cutler had been the victim of a brutal murder. Her 1-year-old daughter, Ziana, and her 4-month-old daughter, Maiyah, were also found dead at the scene. The woman’s 2-year-old daughter, Miracle, was also stabbed but managed to survive the ordeal. She is currently hospitalized in critical condition, but recovering.
The triple murder scene was gruesome. Rebecca was stabbed approximately 40 times by her attacker and her children were stabbed roughly five times each.
The victim was homeless at the time of her murder and had been placed in her hotel room by the Department of Homeless Services. It’s a common practice for the department to put homeless families up in hotels, temporarily, while they spend a few weeks deciding if those families are eligible for more permanent aid.
Local police investigated the crime and came to believe that the woman’s boyfriend was the prime suspect in the triple murder.
The suspect was named as Michael Sykes.
Although nobody seemed to hear or see anything, a video from the hotel showed Sykes waiting outside Rebecca’s room for nearly an hour on the day of the triple murder. After that time had elapsed, the man entered the room, stayed for approximately five minutes, then left.
Another video from just before the attack showed Sykes making a purchase from a nearby deli.
“He looked like he was doing something wrong,” Sammy Abdul, the deli employee that spoke with the suspect, told FOX.
According to Abdul, the triple murder suspect was using his victim’s food assistance card. On top of that, the employee said he noticed that the suspect constantly looked over his shoulder and that the man’s hands were shaking.
Video surveillance is not the only evidence against Sykes in the murder of his girlfriend and her children, one of which was his. According to the NYPD, Sykes took a ferry shortly after the triple murder and called his mother on the way.
He told his mother about the murder and that he intended to kill himself.
After that, the suspect hid from police in Manhattan and Brooklyn. He was finally found and arrested in Woodside, Queens, at around 4 p.m. Saturday by officers affiliated with the 121st Precinct.
After the arrest, Mayor Bill de Blasio was quick to offer a comment to ABC on the arrest of the triple murder suspect.
“Thanks goes to the hard-working officers of the NYPD for bringing Mr. Sykes into custody. The judicial process can now begin to run its course. I hope the family members of the young mother and her small children can find some amount of closure in knowing he has been apprehended.”
De Blasio also told FOX that the other 28 homeless families staying at the hotel where the murder occurred had been relocated. The mayor is also offering all hotels that are used for housing the homeless free access to 24-hour security.
Executive director of the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, Sharon Devine, told FOX that it might not be enough.
“This is the third incident of a horrific [murder] in one of your facilities in less than a month. We expect and demand that you take immediate action to protect shelter residents.”
[Photo by NYPD]