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A quiet tree-lined Cambria Heights neighborhood is in shock over the vicious slaying of a 14-year-old girl.
According to police sources, at 1:15 p.m. on Sunday, November 9, Livingston Matthews discovered his daughter Sabrina in her bedroom, naked below the waist and her throat slashed. She was pronounced dead-at-the-scene.
While the investigation is ongoing and a police source was able to provide only minimal information, the source said police had responded to three domestic incidents at the home in the past. However, none of the incidents involved the Administration for Children’s Services, which would have been contacted, had one of the disputes involved the teenager.
Many neighbors, gathered on the sidewalk opposite the home on 234th Street on Monday afternoon, expressed disbelief at the sudden turn of events in their otherwise peaceful community.
“They are Jamaicans like us, so everybody feels it,” said Marie Tulloch who lives a few blocks away from the Matthews’ home.
“We’re mothers too, you know,” chimed in Springfield Gardens resident Judy Samuels, who came to the scene of the crime Sunday night after hearing news reports.
Samuels noted that the entire street had been blocked off and that Sabrina’s mother - who lived at the home with Livingston as well as the murdered teenager and her sister, according to published reports - repeatedly called her daughter’s name as her body was removed from the house.
“I heard her saying, ‘Sabrina, Sabrina.’ It was so sad,” Samuels recalled.
Samuels had just met Tulloch, but the two felt connected to each other and to the stricken family by their Jamaican identity.
“When one of them is hurt, all of them are hurt,” said Tulloch, referring to the area’s close-knit Jamaican community.
On a street with cars adorned with little Jamaican flags hanging from rearview mirrors, one neighbor said the horrible news quickly changed the mood from happiness about Barack Obama having become President-elect to one of dread.
“It just makes me wanna cry,” said 17-year-old Yaikisha Pereria, whose boyfriend was Sabrina’s god brother.
“I wish they just find the man who did this to her because she was mad young and smart,” said Pereria, before slowly walking down 234th Street with a friend. “She didn’t deserve this.”

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