Mount Vernon police took a man into custody late Tuesday afternoon in the fatal stabbing of a woman on Beekman Avenue earlier in the day, a source told Newsday.

Police from several jurisdictions remained on the scene, scouring both sides of the street with flashlights looking for the weapon. Earlier in the day, Yonkers Cold Case Squad and NYPD officers joined Mount Vernon police in the investigation.

Mount Vernon police commissioner Carl Bell said no one had been arrested in connection with the slaying.

Officers discovered a "lifeless female" inside an apartment after a 1:30 p.m. report of a dead woman, according to a news release issued by Shari Harris, special assistant to Mount Vernon Mayor Ernie Davis. The victim had been "tentatively identified," but was not named publicly pending notification of her family, the release said.

Davis did not immediately return telephone calls from Newsday seeking further comment on the slaying.

Rachelle Leger, the landlady of the three-family home at 7 Beekman Ave. where the slaying took place, drove up to police in a school bus less than two hours after the stabbing, exiting in a panic and walking to the other side of the crime scene tape. Police assured her that her family wasn't involved in the stabbing.

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Half the quiet, residential street lined with three-story houses with top-floor terraces remained cordoned off with yellow crime scene tape several hours after the slaying, with about 20 residents standing outside waiting to be allowed to return to their homes. The body was removed from the home about three hours after police responded.

The suspect is described as black and 6 feet, 1 inch tall. Mount Vernon police ask that anyone with details call the detective division at 914-665-2510.

With Ron Bittner