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Ex-con arrested in strangling of Kingston woman

Audelis Cruz, 49, of Kingston, is charged with

Audelis Cruz, 49, of Kingston, is charged with second-degree murder in the death of Anita Jacobs-Royer, 45, of Kingston, right. (Feb. 11, 2013) Photo Credit: Kingston Police Department

A 49-year-old Kingston man with a lengthy criminal record has been arrested in the slaying of a city woman earlier in February, police said.

Ex-convict Audelis Cruz, of Route 28, was charged with second-degree murder in the death of Anita Jacobs-Royer, 45, Kingston police Lt. Thierry Croizer said Monday.

Police found Jacobs-Royer's body at her home at 56 Third Ave. on the afternoon of Feb. 3 after a worried relative who hadn't heard from her in days asked them to check on her, police said. An autopsy Feb. 4 determined she had been strangled.

Investigators also found her 1998 Isuzu Trooper had been stolen. Police posted information on the vehicle on the department's Facebook page Feb. 4, and within 30 minutes, someone reported spotting it parked on Route 28, near Cruz's address, according to authorities.

The investigation led to Cruz, who had fled to New York City, police said. Kingston police detectives went to New York and spent four days searching for Cruz, who was found about 2 p.m. Sunday on a Manhattan subway platform.

Detectives questioned Cruz, who admitted to having strangled Jacobs-Royer on Feb. 1, police said.

Police said on Tuesday that Cruz and his victim knew each other but that they were still trying to determine what sort of relationship the two had.

Cruz was released from prison in June 2012 and was on parole after serving 11 years in state prison for first-degree robbery, according to a state database. He served seven years in state prison from 1986 to 1993 on a previous first-degree robbery charge, according to the database.

He was being held at Ulster County Jail on Monday pending additional charges. No information on his legal representation was immediately available Monday.

Jacobs-Royer, a jewelry maker and New Jersey native, graduated from SUNY New Paltz with a degree in fine arts, according to her obituary on the website of Keyser Funeral Services & Cremation of Kingston. She is survived by her husband, Scott Jacobs-Royer, of Saugerties; her mother; and two sisters.

A wake will take place from 3 to 7 p.m. Thursday at the funeral home, followed by a 7 p.m. funeral there. She will be buried at Wiltwyck Cemetery in Kingston, the obituary said.

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