Coit’s Body Returned Home; More Reports of Barrera’s Violent Past

Sarah Coit

Sarah Coit’s body has been returned home to Connecticut, where arrangements are being made for her funeral.  The 23-year old woman was brutally murdered inside her Clinton Street apartment this past weekend.

A representative from the Leo P. Gallagher Funeral Home in Stamford, Conn., told DNA Info funeral plans were not yet set. In a brief statement, the family said it “greatly appreciates all of those that have extended their thoughts and prayers during this very difficult time.”

Meanwhile, the family of Coit’s alleged killer is speaking out. Raul Barrera, Sr. told the New York Post, his “heart goes out” to her grieving family.  Barrera said his son is a “good person. I’m sure it was the passion in the moment.”  Yesterday, he visited Raul, Jr. in the jail ward at Bellevue Hospital. According to a witness, Barrera (who’s been charged with 2nd degree murder) “was crying through the whole time. His mother was on her knees, holding him, praying and crying.”

Raul Barrera Sr. (center), in a family photo with his wife and son Raul Jr.

The Daily News spoke with a woman named Marisol Reyes, a former girlfriend who shares a child with the murder suspect. While she was reluctant to talk in any detail, her ex-husband, Ramon Pabey had plenty to say about Barrera:

“People told me what he was doing to her (Reyes),” said Pabey, 44, of the lower East Side. “He used to hit my ex-wife.” Pabey… said he took a swing at Barrera when he thought he was violating a restraining order. Police records confirm Pabey filed a harassment claim against Barrera in March 2003. A close friend of Reyes said Barrera, who is charged with second-degree murder, kept her a virtual prisoner while she was pregnant with his son. The boy is now 9 and also named Raul. “He tortured her for three years,” said the friend, who asked not to be identified. “She would walk around with black eyes and broken ribs,” she said. “He’s not crazy, he’s a bastard.”

The News also looked at Barrera’s legal record and found at least seven domestic violence incidents:

Records show Barrera had seven domestic violence incidents with Reyes and another former girlfriend between 2001 and 2004. Barrera was arrested for assault in March 2010 after he bashed his buddy, 30-year-old Brenden Lighty, in the head with a bottle, records show. Then in January, cops were called after Barrera and Coit clashed and he locked her out. No charges were filed. A short time later, Coit and Barrera moved to the Clinton St., lower East Side, apartment where a fight on Sunday escalated into murder.