CHINATOWN, Manhattan (PIX11) — A man allegedly followed a woman home, stabbed her to death and left her body in the bathroom of her Manhattan apartment early Sunday, police said.
Officers responded to a 911 call for a dispute at a Chrystie Street apartment around 4:20 a.m., officials said. When they arrived, a man was barricaded inside and they were unable to get into the apartment.
Responding officers could hear the victim screaming inside, but couldn’t get in for about 90 minutes, Assemblymember Yuh-Line Niou told PIX11 News on Monday.
Members of the Emergency Service Unit responded and were able to gain entry, officials said. A man who had not yet been identified was taken into NYPD custody. He was believed to be in his 20s or 30s.
When officers searched the apartment, they found the body of 35-year-old Christina Yuna Lee, police said. She’d suffered multiple stab wounds. Emergency medical services pronounced her deceased at the scene. Sources said her body was in the bathtub.
Investigators determined that the man followed the woman to her home, officials said. He did not know the woman before the deadly incident.
The NYPD has not yet released additional identifying information on the woman or about the man taken into custody. Police sources said the man had seven prior arrests, including three from just last month for possession of a forged instrument and two for criminal tampering.
Mayor Eric Adams said he mourned the woman’s death.
“The NYPD is investigating this horrific incident, and I thank them for apprehending the suspect,” he said. “While the suspect who committed this heinous act is now in custody, the conditions that created him remain. The mission of this administration is clear: We won’t let this violence go unchecked.”
Neighborhood resident Sean O’Hara said the slaying was the worst thing he’d seen happen in the area in a while. Another man who identified himself as Ralphy and said his daughter lives in the building told PIX11 News the attack is terrifying.
“It’s scary because it happened, but it could happen anywhere,” he said. “The city right now is crazy, right now the city is uncontrollable.”
Late Sunday afternoon, furious lawmakers gathered near the scene of the stabbing.
“There is no doubt that Asian American New Yorkers are being disproportionately targeted in these acts,” Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine said.
While the victim is Asian, police said at this point, the murder was not being investigated as a hate crime.
Lee was a graduate of Rutgers University and was working as a digital producer at the time of her killing, according to Assemblymember Niou.
Submit tips to police by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477), visiting crimestoppers.nypdonline.org, downloading the NYPD Crime Stoppers mobile app, or texting 274637 (CRIMES) then entering TIP577. Spanish-speaking callers are asked to dial 1-888-57-PISTA (74782).
Correction: A previous version of this story misidentified a resident who spoke with PIX11 News.