NEW YORK (Reuters) – New York City police arrested a 13-year-old boy in connection with the murder of a college student in a Manhattan park, local media reported on Friday, rattling a city in which crime rates have plunged in recent years.
Tessa Majors, 18, was stabbed multiple times with a knife on Wednesday evening during a robbery while walking through Harlem’s Morningside Park near her school, Barnard College, according to the New York Police Department. Police believe there were up to three attackers.
Majors was able to stagger out of the park to seek help at a nearby school security booth, and was declared dead at a hospital. She was completing her first semester at the women-only college after leaving her home in Charlottesville, Virginia, to move to the city.
Morningside Park has long had a reputation for being unsafe and the site of numerous crimes, including murders.
“1 individual has been arrested & this remains an active investigation,” NYPD Chief of Detectives Rodney Harrison said on Twitter late on Friday without providing any additional information on the identity of the person detained.
Police found the 13-year-old boy on Thursday while canvassing a building lobby nearby, television station CBS2, reported, citing unnamed police officials. His clothes matched the description of the suspect, and he was found carrying a knife, the station reported.
CBS2 and other local news channels reported that the boy, whose name has not been disclosed, confessed to police that he and two friends tried to rob Majors and stabbed her.
Arlene Muniz, a police spokeswoman, said she could not comment on any arrests in the case.
Majors played bass guitar in a band called Patient 0, which released its first album in September, according to her Instagram account.
Crime rates in New York City have been steadily declining, but city officials acknowledged an uptick in murders during the last months of the year.
Reporting by Jonathan Allen in New York; Editing by Jonathan Oatis and Daniel Wallis