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Police arrest man for rape, murder in the Bronx nearly two decades after crime

HIGHBRIDGE, Bronx — Police arrested a man Monday for a rape and murder he allegedly committed nearly two decades ago.

Curtis Batchelor, 41, was arraigned Tuesday in the 1999 killing of Elsa Grullon, 56, in Highbridge. He was charged with murder, manslaughter, rape, sexual abuse and criminal possession of a weapon.

Batchelor allegedly repeatedly stabbed Grullon in the face, neck and chest on May 25, 1999, court documents show. Her son-in-law discovered her body. Investigators recovered Batchelor’s sperm from Grullon’s body and were finally able to tie the DNA to him.

The NYPD has been working with the Bronx District Attorney’s office to build the case since March 6, 2016, Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce said at a news conference Wednesday. Batchelor was not a suspect in the original investigation, so it took a lot of work for the NYPD to tie him to the crime.

Batchelor was ordered held without bail at his arraignment in Bronx criminal court. He is next scheduled to appear in court on Friday.