71-year-old woman is killed, and her husband is wounded, in stabbing attack

NEW YORK — A routine visit by a home attendant led to a gruesome discovery over the weekend in Brooklyn, where a woman was killed and her husband was wounded in a knife attack, the police said.

71-year-old woman is killed, and her husband is wounded, in stabbing attack

The woman, Maria Rodriguez, 71, had been stabbed several times in the torso and died in her home, according to police. Her 87-year-old husband, who uses a wheelchair, was stabbed in the chest and slashed across the arm. He was taken to Bellevue Hospital Center, where he remained in serious condition Sunday.

Investigators were looking to speak with the couple’s 55-year-old son, Oscar Rodriguez Jr., who checked himself into a nearby hospital’s psychiatric ward Saturday, according to a police official. No arrests had been made by Sunday evening and the police did not offer a motive for the attack.

On Saturday, the home attendant called the couple’s family after no one answered their door at 66 Garden Ave. in Bushwick. An in-law, Artelio Reyes, 63, crawled through a window and made the gruesome find, then called the police around 6:50 p.m.

The couple’s home was cordoned off with police tape Sunday and an officer stood guard at the door. As neighbors passed the house, they expressed shock.

“For something like this to happen it’s just unreal,” said Felix Peralta, 42. “She was a precious old woman, very generous, very kind.”

Rodriguez was the third person killed this year in Bushwick, although murders in New York are down this year, according to police statistics.

Neighbors said Rodriguez was a soft-spoken woman who could be found feeding pigeons every morning either on her stoop or in the grassy patch outside her home. Her husband used a wheelchair to get around and rarely left the house, said Roselin Hu, 64, whose sister lives next door.

Vivian Green, 60, who lives across the street, said she exchanged greetings with Rodriguez on her way to the supermarket in the morning.

“She spoke to everybody,” Green said. “She was nice to everybody.”

Phone calls to relatives of the couple went unanswered Sunday. Reyes declined to comment.

Rodriguez purchased the brick-front duplex in 2004, according to property records. The couple lived below a second-floor unit that they rented to tenants.

The house sits in a row of seven similar houses, each facing a small patch of grass with trees that line the sidewalk. A waist-high black metal gate separates the house from the sidewalk and gray concrete steps lead up to the front door.

Peralta, as he walked by the couple’s home Sunday morning, noticed pigeons lining the roof.

“It was like they were waiting for her,” he said.

This article originally appeared in The New York Times.

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