BEDFORD-STUYVESANT, Brooklyn — A social media tip led to the an arrest in the fatal bodega stabbing of a woman, the victim's family shared at the Brooklyn store on Thursday.
Ebony Young, 20, was stabbed in the chest at the bodega in late March. The alleged attacker, 26-year-old Claudia Hospedales, jumped into a BMW and drove away from the scene.
Police investigated for months and tracked down Hospedales through a tip Joanna Stephens, Young's sister, got online. A woman in Florida saw the news and reached out to Stephens.
"She reached out to me on social media and she told me she might have some leads," Stephens said.
After turning the information over to police, sources say they tracked Hospedales through three states by tracing her EBT card. She went from North Carolina, to Georgia and finally to Texas, where she was arrested and charged with criminally negligent homicide.
"It was because of individuals reading the papers and looking at the news that you guys put out which is responsible journalism that afforded us an opportunity to give this family what they needed to day which is justice," Community Advocate Tony Herbert said.
Stephens and Young's mother Juana Walker returned to the bodega on Thursday.
"All I want to say is that these are happy tears my daughter finally got justice," Walker said as tears streamed down her face.
At the time of Young's death, sister Stephens was 8-months pregnant with her daughter Summer.
"Her aunt was the brightest star in the sky" Stephens said about Young. "She lit up a room with her smile."
Stephens says she'll never be able to replace her sister, but knowing police have caught the person responsible will help bring closure to the entire family.
"It still hurts very much that my sister's not here, but I'm happy that we got justice for her," she said.
Hospedales is due back in court Oct. 12. She is currently being held without bail.