THE BRONX (PIX11) — Gregory Fleetwood was a suspect in two rape cases in the mid-1990s around the same time that pregnant mom, Jasmine Porter, was sexually assaulted and strangled in her bedroom in February 1996, sources said.
Now, one of the rape victims regrets backing out of testifying against Fleetwood back then, saying she shouldn’t have listened to her family, a law enforcement source familiar with the case said.
The source also told PIX11 News detectives received an out-of-state call after Fleetwood’s arrest in Porter’s death from a woman who said, “My friend was killed, and she knew him.”
Detectives are now going into overdrive, looking at unsolved rapes and murders in the Bronx from before 1987–when Fleetwood was arrested for raping and strangling another woman–and those that happened after 1994, when Fleetwood was paroled from New York State prison.
Fleetwood, now 66, was arrested Monday in connection with Porter’s murder based on DNA tests that tied him to Porter’s crime scene 26 years ago.
Detectives had waited for hours outside his apartment building on Laconia Avenue in the Bronx. Fleetwood told reporters he didn’t kill Porter as he was led out of the Bronx Homicide Squad on Monday night.
The NYPD Special Victims Unit, which handles rape investigations, has a specialized DNA group, which is now working with homicide detectives on the Fleetwood case.
We’re also learning more about how Fleetwood allegedly won the confidence of his victims.
“The two rape victims were people who knew him from the neighborhood,” the law enforcement source said.
The source added that Fleetwood would help some victims with their grocery bags in order to get closer to them, allegedly raping one woman inside her apartment and another in a stairwell.
PIX11 News also learned more about the last hours of Porter’s life in early February 1996.
“That night, there were six people in her apartment. Another guy was originally arrested. That’s the last guy who was there. But he had a good alibi,” the source said.
The source said a jailhouse phone call early last year contained a discussion about Porter’s 1996 murder.
Police were later able to interview four of the six people who attended Porter’s gathering at her apartment that day in February 1996. The other two people were dead. When detectives showed the interviewees a photo of Fleetwood, whose DNA was tied to Porter’s murder, they did not recognize him as someone in the apartment that night.
The owner of a local driving school on Laconia Avenue recalled Fleetwood was always willing to help people with grocery shopping or snow shoveling.
“He was very helpful,” Al Sorano remembered, “any time that you needed something.”
Sorano said he was “disgusted” to hear Fleetwood is accused of killing a pregnant mom, whose little boy was in the apartment for several days with his mother’s lifeless body, trying to wipe blood from her nose and wake her up.
“If he’s guilty, I’m happy they got him,” Sorano said.