Monica Paul is seen with her son, Noah, in a...

Monica Paul is seen with her son, Noah, in a photo date-stamped Dec. 4, 2004. Suffolk police say Paul was stabbed to death in her apartment by her estranged husband, Wesley Paul. Credit: Handout

A wife and mother was stabbed to death in her Bay Shore home and her estranged husband was arrested and charged with her murder, police said Sunday.Bay Shore

Monica Paul, 40, of 407 E. Main St., was found dead Saturday evening in her apartment, Suffolk police said. Paul's husband, Wesley Paul, 38, of 45 Drayton Ave., Bay Shore, was charged with second-degree murder.

"He was over there, visiting his 6-year-old son," said Det. Lt. Gerard Pelkofsky, commanding officer of the Suffolk Police Homicide Squad. "There is no history of problems. We believe it's something to do with visitation, and the argument caused him to stab her a couple of times."

Their son was outside playing with other children at the time, Pelkofsky said, and did not witness the stabbing. Afterward, "the child was placed with relatives."

Third Precinct officers arrived at the home in response to a 911 call at 7:10 p.m., police said. That call was made from a cell phone from the second floor apartment by the husband, Pelkofsky said. His wife was dead when the officers arrived and took Paul into custody, police said. He was taken to Southside Hospital in Bay Shore and treated for injuries received during the struggle with his wife, police said.

Dorothy Stewart, 69, who lives in a downstairs apartment, said when officers arrived, she overheard the couple's son, who she said is named Noah, ask them, "Why can't I go up to Mommy?" The boy did not know what had happened, she said.

The apartment complex where the Paul family lived is called The Hedges. The complex, directly off East Main Street, is composed of roughly a half-dozen two-story apartment buildings containing 16 apartments each. Each building has a grass courtyard, walkways and a shaded seating area.

The couple separated in May, detectives said, but there were no prior police reports of domestic disputes. Neighbors and family were shocked.

"It's hard to believe," Stewart said. "They seemed like the ideal couple. They went to church on Sunday."

Another neighbor, Alicia Rivera, 51, said she would often see both of them with their son. "He seemed like such a loving father. He was always outside playing with his son," she said.

Hermilyn Holsford of Brooklyn, a cousin of Monica Paul, said family members have been crying since they learned what happened. "She loved life. She lived for her son," Holsford said. "What was he thinking? It doesn't make any sense."

Paul was arraigned in First District Court, Central Islip, Sunday and ordered held without bail.

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