A manhunt is underway for Tigran Tambiev, the live-in boyfriend of an artist found brutally stabbed to death on Saturday, December 12 in Long Island City, the police department said.
According to news reports, friends discovered the body of the victim, Susan Woolf, 49, when they came to the apartment at 43-35 10th Street because they had not heard from her. The friends said that Woolf and Tambiev, 43, had a “rocky relationship.” The NYPD confirmed that Woolf had an order of protection against Tambiev that expired in September 2009.
Officers from the 108th Precinct who responded to the scene reported that Woolf sustained multiple stab wounds to the torso and back, and had packing tape around her neck. The paramedics declared her dead on arrival.
“This is an unbelievable tragedy,” said Boston-area artist and friend Laelia Mitchell, who described Woolf as full of life, of joy and of an urgency to succeed as an artist. “Her move to New York from Boston was testament to that urgency and her success in the year that she was there, I believe spoke volumes to the kind of person she was.”
Woolf described herself as a public artist and she used nature and debris. On her web site, a current project entitled “Carry Water” shows empty water bottles to demonstrate how New Yorkers used and abused their water resources. In her Twitter feeds, Woolf shared one of her more whimsical public art projects. She used the leaves of an Acacia tree to create human figures in Astoria Park. Woolf boasted at how long the installation lasted despite the rain and the wind.
“She saw things in places people weren’t looking and asked us to look,” Mitchell said, adding that Woolf’s dog, Angus, who usually accompanied her, was safe with a friend in New York. “We’ve lost someone to show us those moments.”
Though Mitchell did not live in New York City, she had heard from Woolf’s friends that the boyfriend, Tambiev, had a volatile personality and had a drinking problem. Mitchell expressed sadness that Woolf may have been a victim of domestic violence and hoped Woolf’s last moments were quick.
“As humans we don’t think we could be touched by something like this,” she said. “But now it’s not just some other person.”
Now the NYPD has turned their attention to Tambiev, who they describe “as a person of interest in the above homicide” who “has fled to parts unknown.”
According to details released by the police department, Tambiev is 5′ 08", 145 lbs, with green eyes and brownish blond hair that extends slightly past his ears and was last seen wearing a black waist length jacket, blue jeans, and boots. He also has a laceration under his left eye that extends approximately 2” to his cheek.
The NYPD seeks the public’s assistance in locating Tigran Tambiev. Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers web site at www.nypdcrimestoppers.com or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then entering TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.