By Dustin Brown
A Maspeth woman murdered her husband inside their 58th Road home by plunging a knife into his chest before dawn Tuesday and then stabbed herself to death after their daughter fled to seek help, police said.
Yolanda Moreno, 46, fatally stabbed her husband Armando, 44, around 4:45 a.m. in the bedroom of their home at 64-32 58th Rd., police said.
After waking up and witnessing the assault, their 11-year-old daughter tried to get help by running with blood on her body to a friend’s house on 64th Street, police said.
But by the time officers arrived, her mother had already left the house and stabbed herself repeatedly in the torso and wrists, police said.
Her body was found at 5:45 a.m. about three blocks from her home on the corner of 64th Street and Flushing Avenue, police said, lying face down against the curb alongside a car. She would have turned 47 next week. Her husband had died in their bedroom.
Later that morning, small patches of blood were still visible on the street, leaving bright red streaks on the curb and staining the green faces of weeds that poked through the sidewalk.
The daughter was taken to Elmhurst Hospital Center, where a spokeswoman said she was medically in good condition and going for counseling Tuesday afternoon.
“This is an 11-year-old traumatized kid who unfortunately saw what was going on,” said Queens District Attorney Richard Brown at the scene.
Joanna Dyjak, 37, who lives at the street corner where Yolanda Moreno died, said she could see her body, clad in jeans and sneakers, from her window while police were working at the scene.
“It was a young, very beautiful girl, but all covered in cuts and blood — a lot of blood. I didn’t want to look at it,” she said. “It’s terrible what’s going on in people’s lives … that they have such fights.”
But the family has had no history of domestic violence, said Detective Kevin Czartoryski, a Police Department spokesman, and neighbors said they were the last couple they could imagine having such a violent dispute.
The family lived in a long row of single-story, attached houses in residential neighborhood that sits alongside Mt. Olivet Cemetery.
“She was just such a sweet lady,” said Claire Johnson, 50, who used to live two doors down from the family. “I’m just shocked.”
None of the neighbors saw or heard any of the dispute, only discovering the crime when they awoke to the lights of emergency vehicles parked outside their homes.
“This happened this morning. I didn’t hear of any struggle or anything,” said Seamus Ruddy, 56, who owns the adjacent house and shares a wall with the family.
Both had moved to the United States from Colombia about two decades ago, neighbors said. She sold jewelry and cosmetics door to door, and he worked as a maintenance manager at a Manhattan apartment building for many years, neighbors said.
They had invested a lot of money in renovating their home since moving onto the Maspeth street three years ago, installing a gray stone facade and splitting the costs of a new staircase to the front doors with Ruddy.
Jean Tompkins, who lives across the street, said she often saw the couple “bicycle riding with the daughter, walking down the block holding hands — never heard a harsh word from them, never heard their voices raised.”
Nearly all of the couple’s family lives in Colombia, said Tompkins, who was left to wonder, “What’s going to happen to that little girl with no family here?”
Reach reporter Dustin Brown by e-mail at Timesledger@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 154.