Mystery in Bushwick: How do next-door neighbors turn up dead two days apart?
Cops investigating the back-to-back deaths at NYCHA complex
Cops are investigating the stupefying and unnerving mystery of how two next door neighbors in a single public housing building in Bushwick were found two days apart and apparently murdered in a crime that has left residents shaken.
Ana Delvalle, 62, and Basil Gray, 54, were both found dead in their fifth-floor apartments in the New York City Housing Authority’s Bushwick Houses at 140 Moore St.
Delvalle, who lived in apartment 5C, was found dead on Friday evening by NYPD officers responding to a 911 call about an assault. Her hands were bound and she had multiple gunshot wounds to her head, police sources said.
Barely 48 hours later, cops were again called to the same floor of the same building, this time to check on Gray, whose family hadn’t heard from him in a few days. Officers found Gray, who lived in apartment 5B, with multiple gunshot wounds to his torso, police sources said. Like his neighbor, he was declared dead at the scene.
Similar forensic evidence was found in both apartments possibly suggesting that the two murders were linked, police said, according to the New York Daily News. The newspaper, citing a detective source, said Gray may have gone to check on Delvalle after hearing a commotion and come upon her killer.
But no arrests have been made, and both investigations are ongoing.
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City statistics show that crime has been flat in the Bushwick Houses, with total arrests so far this year (55) roughly the same as over the same period last year (59).
“I find this all strange,” said a 30-year resident who declined to give her name but said she knew Gray and Delvalle in passing. She said that in all her years living in the Bushwick Houses, she’s never seen anything like this before.
Both victims kept mostly to themselves, she said. Gray sold religious oils and would smile when he passed. Delvalle spent a lot of time at the JASA Retirement Center located in the housing complex.
“This time [of day] she would be here with us,” said Delores Byrd, 77, who regularly goes to the center and who knew Delvalle. She said she still can’t believe Delvalle, who she’d seen at the center the day before she died, was gone.
The ladies said that Delvalle loved to crochet. In the weeks leading up to her death she’d been working on a pink blanket that she’d hoped to finish before Mother’s Day. But she never had the chance.
The president of the center, who did not want her name in the paper, said the shaken women are going to hold a meeting to talk about what happened to Delvalle, whom they considered family.
“If the police don’t do nothing, God do something,” she said.
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