Corona woman stabbed to death

Corona woman stabbed to death
Attorney Raul Garcia holds a photo of John Perez, the boyfriend of slain Corona woman Diana Bolivar, while her sister Paola looks on. Photo by Jeremy Walsh
By Jeremy Walsh

Domestic violence was again the cause of a murder in Corona, the family of a slain woman believes.

Diana Bolivar, 29, was found stabbed to death Dec. 29 in her apartment on 110th Street, police said. Her family suspects Bolivar’s boyfriend, John German Castro Perez, a Colombian native.

Police had not made any arrests by press time Tuesday, but state Assemblyman Jose Peralta (D-Jackson Heights) threw his support behind the family, contacting U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and the Colombian Embassy to alert them about Perez’s possible return to the South American country.

Paola Bolivar, the victim’s sister, said Diana Bolivar met Perez in Colombia three years ago and followed him to the United States. They lived together on the upper floor of a two-family home, she said.

Paola Bolivar said their relationship was apparently rocky. Perez showed up at Paola Bolivar’s house several times and once went to Paola’s daughter’s school looking for his girlfriend. Paola Bolivar filed a complaint against Perez with the 115th Precinct several months ago, she said, noting police told her to call 911 if he became violent.

“My sister, lamentably, did not accept that I at various times tried to tell her to move away from that man,” she said in Spanish.

Diana Bolivar was supposed to spend Christmas opening presents at her sister’s house. When she did not show up, Paola Bolivar said she called Perez, who first told her that they were vacationing in Atlantic City and then in Pennsylvania.

Raul Garcia, the family’s lawyer, said Perez even sent a text message to Paola in the guise of her sister, assuring her everything was fine.

Police in the 115th initially treated Paola Bolivar’s requests for them to investigate with skepticism, Garcia said, noting police did not begin investigating until the fourth time she contacted them. Garcia said detectives have been helpful since opening the case.

Diana Bolivar came to the country a year ago hoping to take English language courses and further her career as an accountant, her family said. She spent the last several months working as a baby-sitter and at a call-taking center in Jackson Heights, her family said.

Peralta drew parallels between Diana Perez and Edna Herrarte, the Corona woman who was allegedly stabbed to death by her husband in November. The assemblyman has called for a domestic violence task force in the state Legislature that would investigate how to change policies and better educate the public in order to deter such incidents.

“Diana Bolivar paid the ultimate price because she did not denounce this domestic violence,” Peralta said last Thursday. “Anyone who abuses women, we need to send a loud message that this is not going to be tolerated.”

The murder was the eighth in the 115th Precinct in 2009.

Reach reporter Jeremy Walsh by e-mail at jewalsh@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 154.

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