A 50-year-old New York woman who cared for her 97-year-old aunt has now been charged with killing her.
Police said that Janice Cruz has been jailed on murder and strangulation charges in the death of Antonia Cardona, according to the New York Daily News.
Cardona’s home health aide, Rosa Perez, found her body in her 18th floor apartment on the Lower East Side on Friday morning. Perez, who went with Cardona to Sunday mass every week, sobbed as she spoke.
“If I found her in a normal death, a regular death, I wouldn’t be the way I am,” she said in Spanish. “She was a love.”
Fellow parishioners at Our Lady of Sorrows were in shock at the news.
“I don’t understand it, because she would bring her food every day,” said Culma Mercado, 76. “Every day she took care of her.”
Maria Diaz, 64, told the Daily News that she didn’t initially recognize the name. “I didn’t know till a little while ago when I saw her picture,” she said.
“Everybody wants to die of old age in their sleep, and somebody robbed her of that,” she added.
Cruz, who lives in a different building in the same complex, was arrested on Saturday. Neighbors told the Daily News that she shouted, “I killed her! I killed her!” as police led her away.
Cardona’s grandson, Chris Cardona, said that Cruz often stopped by to help her aunt go in and out of the bathroom.