Police have released photos of a person wanted for questioning in the brutal stabbing of a Woodhaven teen last week.
The pictures, circulated on Tuesday, are the latest actions taken by police to catch the suspect, who violently stabbed Natasha Martinez, 17, nearly a dozen times while she was returning home from work on Monday, July 29 at approximately 11:30 p.m.
The perpetrator stabbed Martinez in her back and torso, cops said, and she was rushed to Jamaica Hospital. Martinez is still in the hospital in stable condition, according to authorities.
Residents around the area are frightened about the incident and hope the suspect is caught soon.
“For 22 years I’ve been living here and this is the first time I’ve been scared,” said Niki Rampaul.
Rampaul also said she takes the same route home from work that Martinez took.
A black male with a light-colored hooded sweatshirt and dark jeans is seen in the new pictures released. In early reports witnesses described the attacker as approximately 5’6” tall and 150 pounds.
On Monday police said they had a man in custody and were questioning him about the crime. That person was later released and no charges were filed.
Cops also released a video of a man believed to have a connection with the stabbing. Additionally, signs have been posted around the neighborhood, detailing a $12,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the suspect.
NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly said the crime may be connected to another stabbing a few neighborhoods away.
“We’re seeing if there is a pattern here,” Kelly said last week, referring to Kerline Denizard, 36, who was seriously wounded when a vicious attacker cut her neck and torso with a knife in Queens Village in June. Like Martinez, Denizard survived the attack.
Neighbors who have lived in Woodhaven for more than a decade said they have seen a decline in community.
“You just see different type of people,” said resident Linda Sanchez. “They don’t care about where they live.”
Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto Crime Stoppers website or can text their tips to CRIMES (274637), then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.
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