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Follow-up: The Murder of Jomali Morales

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The Times just posted a follow-up on the brutal murder of Jomali Morales, the woman whose body was found in an elevator at the Baruch Houses February 12th. Two excerpts:

The murder was overshadowed by the unrelated citywide manhunt and arrest of a suspect in four other killings. But this case sent ripples through one particular city population: the New York Police Department. Ms. Morales’s half-brother, Joseph Vitale, is a 20-year veteran police officer who, assigned to the Manhattan South Task Force, has worked the very area where she lost her life. Perhaps second only to the murder of a fellow officer, in terms of let’s-find-this-guy determination, would be the murder of an officer’s kid sister, and residents of 555 Roosevelt have said detectives have been up and down its halls many times since Feb. 12. There is a $12,000 reward for information. But so far, no arrests and no known suspects.


Detectives questioned a man, Andy Adams, 29, who had been staying with a friend on the second floor of the building and who was wanted for missing a court date from a drug case. “I ain’t no criminal committing a crime on a woman,” he said later. He said he had told the police he had been at an Orchard Street bar and said surveillance cameras backed up his story: “I was at Skinny’s — I had to get a video from where I was at. From 11 o’clock to 4:15 in the morning, I was there. Whoever did that should fry.” The funeral was four days after Ms. Morales’s death, on Wednesday, across the street from her apartment at St. Mary’s Church. Institutional etiquette carried the day. Police officers spilled out of cars and vans and lined up in formation in the middle of the street, briefly blocking the morning rush, shrugging against the cold with the awkward blend of formality and routine that comes with memorializing a complete stranger. Other officers, watching closer: The police took the sign-in book from the wake to see who showed up. The family does not know of any leads, not even Officer Vitale, who said he would never ask or look into the murder himself and risk compromising the investigation.

You can read the full article here.

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