An arrest has been made in the case of a brutal murder of an 88-year-old woman at the Pelham Parkway Houses in 2012.
That June, long-time resident Evelyn Shapiro was found dead in her appartment with apparent head trauma, the groceries she had been carrying spilled on the floor.
Pia McQueen, a 31-year-old homeless woman, was arrested on December 15 in connection with the 2 1/2 year old case. She has been charged with second degree murder, burglary and criminal possesion of a weapon.
McQueen had previously been arrested eight times, on charges that include burglary, criminal trespessing and grand larceny, said a NYPD spokesman.
Information that McQueen was allegedly involved in the case was found during the investigation by the Bronx Homicide Squad.
The case is still open and ongoing, the spokesman said, which means there may still be additional arrests.
Nevertheless, one Pelham Parkway Houses resident was incredibly happy to hear that an arrest had been made.
“It makes the residents at NYCHA feel a little more comfortable, that this person will be brought to justice,” said Lorraine Ritter.
Shapiro was well known and respected throughout the complex, said Ritter, and it was a huge shock when the news of her horrific murder spread through the complex. Fear gripped many residents living in the Pelham Parkway Houses, especially its elderly population.
“Seniors were scared to come out of their apartments,” said Ritter. “It was just horrible.”
Ritter said she is thankful that the 49th never gave up on apprehending the culprit.
“I am very grateful that they kept up with the investigation,” said Ritter.
Councilman James Vacca, who in the wake of the murder secured funding for security cameras in the NYCHA development, was also glad to hear about the arrest.
“I want to compliment the police for their work and continued efforts to solve this crime,” said Vacca. “The Shapiro family has experienced much grief as a result of this. Perhaps now they can begin to move beyond this tragedy. I thank the police again for never giving up and for being as diligent as they were.”