The family of a young woman found fatally stabbed in her apartment a few days before New Year’s is seeking the help of authorities to extradite the alleged killer who may have possibly fled to Colombia
On Tuesday, December 29, officers from the 115th Precinct responded to a call at 34-37 110th Street in Corona, where they discovered the body of 29-year-old Diana Bolivar. Bolivar had been stabbed 40 times in the torso.
Paola Bolivar, the victim’s sister, told media outlets that Diana lived with John German Castro Perez, her boyfriend for at least three years, but the two would constantly get into verbal and sometimes physical arguments.
During these times, Diana would seek refuge at Paola’s house but Perez would come by, bang on the doors and windows and ask to be let in. At least once, Paola called the police.
The New York Police Department said they will not discuss any aspect of the case, except to say, “This is an ongoing investigation,” and have not named Perez a suspect, nor have they officially stated that Perez fled to Colombia.
Nevertheless, Raul Garcia, a lawyer representing the family, said that “it’s [my] understanding that a government official from New York contacted an official in Colombia, who indicated that they had a record that [Perez] had entered the country.” Some news outlets and Assemblymember Jose Peralta have reported that Perez hopped on a plane to Colombia but claim different dates, Monday, December 28 or Tuesday, December 29.
“Once we have a warrant or an indictment, I will contact someone in the Colombian government to start the process,” said Garcia.
According to him, Paola – who speaks no English – visited the 115th Precinct at least twice the weekend after Christmas because Diana had not been heard from since Christmas Eve, when she left a family party. The two sisters had planned to meet up on Christmas Day.
Garcia confirmed that the NYPD did not file a missing person’s report. He also confirmed that, to his knowledge, Diana – who had been in the U.S. for less than one year – never filed a domestic violence report.
“People should not be brushed off by cops and if they are they should be persistent in having the police do something, regardless if they speak English or not,” Garcia said.
The death of Diana Bolivar marks the third death in under two months of women in northwest Queens at the hands of either a husband or boyfriend. The bodies of Edna Herrarte, 55, and her son Daniel, 14, were discovered wrapped in plastic and stuffed in a closet of their apartment in Corona on Saturday, November 21, their throats slashed by husband Otto Herrarte.
On Saturday, December 12 in Long Island City, friends discovered the body of local artist Susan Woolf, 49, who sustained multiple stab wounds to the torso and back, and had packing tape around her neck. The paramedics declared her dead on arrival.
Bolivar, Herrarte and Woolf all had tumultuous relationships with their partners, according to family and friends.
Assemblymember Jose Peralta, who has called for the creation of a New York State Domestic Violence Task Force, said that one in every four women experiences physical abuse at some point in their lifetime, while two out of every five killed in New York City are murdered by their husbands.
“Another incident occurred where tell-tale signs were apparent and things quickly escalated into a tragedy and death,” said Peralta.
Donations for funeral and associated costs can be deposited at any TD Bank under the Diana Bolivar Fund, account number 4245971117.