A week after the horrific deaths of Edna and Danny Herrarte, the surviving son David and his extended family laid them to rest in Queens on Saturday, November 28.
The husband and father, Otto Herrarte, 48, has been charged with two counts of second-degree murder, one count of tampering with evidence and one count of criminal possession of a weapon by the Queens County District Attorney’s Office for slashing the throats of his wife, 55, and son, 14.
Their bodies were discovered wrapped and stuffed in a closet of their apartment at 39-02 111th Street in Corona on Saturday, November 21.
David, 15, was not at home at the time of the murders. A family cousin said in a news interview that he’s doing well under the circumstances and has been staying with relatives.
“He thinks that he stayed in this world because there is a purpose for him. He [said] he’s going to do the best, which he thinks his mother wanted for him to do,” said Vilma Chavez, a cousin.
At the time of his arrest, Herrarte allegedly told police that he had a person named “Roberto” inside of him and that Roberto was responsible for everything that was bad, and that Roberto had killed Edna and Daniel while they slept in bed.
In a Jekyll and Hyde turn of events, Herrarte then allegedly told police that he, “Otto,” had gone to the store to purchase black plastic bags and duct tape, which he later used to wrap the bodies of his wife and son before he put them in a closet.
State Senator Hiram Monserrate and City Councilmember Julissa Ferreras established a fund to help defray the cost of expenses related to the funeral and travel of family members from abroad. The fund will also provide assistance for the educational expenses of the surviving son.
With the help of Senator Charles Schumer and Monserrate, six family members from Guatemala attended the funeral service with emergency visas.
At his arraignment, Queens Criminal Court Judge Stephanie Zarro ordered that Herrarte have a psychiatric evaluation before being brought back to court on December 22. If convicted he faces up to 50-years-to-life in prison.
— Additional reporting Gloria Pazmiño