A 23-year-old woman was attacked so viciously during an argument with her boyfriend that her side was slashed open and her skull was fractured, prosecutors said Monday.
The suspect, Raul Barrera, was arraigned on charges of second-degree murder in the death of Sarah Coit. He was being held without bail and was on suicide watch. He did not enter a plea, and his attorney didn’t immediately return a call seeking comment.
Prosecutors said he came to authorities after his father urged him to go to police.
Police went to the couple’s apartment in Lower Manhattan around 2:30 a.m. Sunday after receiving 911 calls reporting screams coming from inside. They broke down the door to find Coit still alive but in a pool of blood with stab wounds on her face and torso. Barrera was not there at the time.
A neighbor told the Daily News of New York that he heard Coit arguing with her boyfriend minutes before in their third-floor apartment.
The neighbor, 15-year-old Jason Figueroa, said he heard her yelling, “Stop, get off of me!” He said he called police.
Coit was taken to an area hospital where she was pronounced dead. According to a criminal complaint, her internal organs were visible from a gaping stab wound to her left torso. Her skull was fractured, and authorities believe she was hit with a blunt object. Several knives were recovered.
Coit had called police on one occasion in January to complain of an argument with Barrera, 33, when the couple lived in midtown Manhattan, authorities said.
Coit was from Greenwich, Conn., and worked as a salesperson in Manhattan and was attending Hunter College. When reach by phone Monday, her family said they had no comment. Barrera worked in public relations.
Barrera voluntarily went to a police precinct later Sunday and was taken into custody. He had been previously arrested on an assault charge.