Woman killed by dog walker in Flushing

Members of NYPD's Crime Scene Unit exit the apartment of Claudia Montoya, who was found dead in the Flushing. Photo by Christina Santucci
By Rebecca Henely and Connor Adams Sheets

Police said a dog walker stabbed a 31-year-old woman to death inside her Flushing home Thursday, crashed a car into Flushing Bay and then killed himself several hours later by lying down on the tracks of the No. 7 line at the Hunters Point stop.

Claudia Montoya, 31, was found dead with multiple stab wounds on Murray Avenue in Flushing after police responded to a 911 call about a foul odor coming from the house, a spokesman for the Police Department said. When they arrived, the woman’s body was in the bathtub, he said.

Police said Montoya was killed by her dog walker, whom they did not identify. After the slaying, the murderer turned on the gas in the house, which killed one of her two Yorkies. The other was carried out by an animal-rescue squad, the New York Post reported.

Neighbor George Athanasopoulos, 45, said he heard a loud noise, which he thought occurred when a car speeding away from the woman’s house hit a brick wall next to the driveway.

“At first they thought it was a gunshot, but it was too loud,” Athanasopoulos said, referring to his neighbors.

Police said the dog walker sped off in a Mercedes and headed for College Point, where he drove off a bluff into Flushing Bay near 20th Avenue. No one was inside the vehicle when authorities arrived on the scene.

Police said hours later the man somehow reached the Hunters Point station stop and lay down in front of the No. 7 train.

Martha Flores-Vazquez, director of the Community Prevention Alternatives initiative, scheduled a candlelight vigil for Sunday at 4 p.m. outside the house where the murder occurred at 34-20 Murray Lane. She will be joined by Assemblywoman Grace Meng (D-Flushing), community activists and leaders.

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