New York City NY April 21 2016
A Washington Heights woman was charged with murdering her brother during a fight Monday morning over who would babysit a younger sibling, police and sources said.
Jeffrey and Estefani Lora were heard arguing over who would watch the child at about 6:17 a.m. in a 16th floor apartment on St. Nicholas Ave. near W. 178th St. in Washington Heights, police and sources said.
The arguing erupted in a fist fight, and Estefani Lora, 21, grabbed a knife from the kitchen and stabbed her brother in the chest. Jeffrey Lora, 19, was taken to Columbia Presbyterian Hospital, where he could not be saved.
Estefani Lora was charged with second-degree murder.
“I don’t know what could have happened. Their mother is a good woman. And that woman raised those children right,” neighbor Luz Tanya, 61, said, speaking in Spanish. “I don’t know what could have happened with those kids. Perhaps the devil came between them.”
Former long-time resident Barbara Rissi, 24, came by the building with tears in her eyes to see if any family members were home.
“I don’t think she meant to kill him,” she said through tears, referring to the sister and brother. “Maybe in the heat of the moment, she just stabbed him and thought everything was going to be okay.”
Giselle Lopez, 22, said she grew up with both the victim and his sister.
“He was the total opposite of all the boys around here,” she said of Jeffrey Lora. “These boys are disrespectful and he wasn’t. He would do anything, if you told him to go to the store he’d go, he wouldn’t even think about it.”
Lopez said the victim had just gotten a job as a security guard in the building.
“He was excited to open the door for his own mom,” she said. “He didn’t have kids … he was a kid himself.”
Lopez said she knew the victim’s sister, Estefani Lora, better than the victim.
“She was very quiet,” she said, mentioning that they attended high school at PS132 together. “She always stuck to herself. They (sister and brother) were always together actually; she would send him to buy her cigarettes.”
Jose Polanco, 46, one of the victim’s new co-workers, said he knew the family well. He suggested the argument between the siblings erupted because Jeffrey didn’t like his sister bringing her boyfriend to the apartment.
“She would bring her boyfriend home and he (the victim) didn’t like it too much, it seems,” Polanco said. “He was very calm. He was a good kid,” he added.
Polanco said the victim’s mom went on vacation to Mexico about three days ago. He wasn’t sure when she’s coming back.
He said that the victim and his sister lived together with their mother, their mother’s sister and her 7-year-old mentally disabled son. He did not know where any of the family members are now.
Lopez said the murder gave her chills. ”I don’t understand what this world is coming to and how your sister kills you,” she said.
NY Daily News