A Queens man is facing murder and sexual abuse charges in connection with an attack earlier in the week of a 92-year-old woman known affectionately in Richmond Hill as the “cat lady” for the way she cared for stray felines, officials said Friday.

Reeaz Khan, 21, of Queens, was taken into custody late Thursday after police received tips from the public following a release of the man’s image captured on surveillance camera at the time he allegedly assaulted Maria Fuertes, NYPD Chief of Detectives Rodney Harrison told reporters.

Fuertes, who was out for a walk through her neighborhood just after midnight on Monday when she was attacked, suffered contusions to her neck and had signs of sexual assault, Harrison said. Although Fuertes initially survived the attack she later died in a hospital, police said.

“Ms. Fuertes was a defenseless, 92-year-old woman minding her own business walking down the street when she was brutally attacked,” Harrison told reporters.

Fuertes was attacked in the vicinity of 103-26 127th St. in Richmond Hill and when EMS personnel arrived they found her disoriented and lying in a snowy patch on the street, said deputy chief Joseph Kenney of the Queens South Homicide unit.

Kenney explained that video images captured the suspect and Fuertes falling down by a parked car. Both the suspect and Fuertes were obscured on the video by the car for about four or five minutes, after which the man suddenly reappeared and ran away, with Fuertes on the ground, Kenney explained.

Kenney also added that the suspect gave a statement to police in which he “placed himself at the scene.” But Kenney wouldn’t elaborate. Police also said the suspect had a prior arrest record but declined to elaborate.

“Ms. Fuertes was a fixture in the neighborhood of Richmond Hill,” said Kenney. “She took strolls in the evening quite often.”

Neighbors told reporters Fuertes got the name cat lady from the way she fed the cats in area.

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