Anita Jacobs-Royer, 45, was found dead earlier this month inside her Kingston home. Police have now announced they've made an arrest in the case. Alexandra Weishaupt has more from outside the Kingston Police Department.
KINGSTON, N.Y. -- After a week of wondering and waiting, folks on 3rd Avenue can now rest a little easier after an arrest in the murder of 45-year-old Anita Jacobs-Royer.
“I’m glad they found out who it was. It’s too bad a young woman like that to have to die at somebody else’s expense,” said Samuel Degraff.
A community now hoping for justice after the homicide investigation of their neighbor and friend comes to a close. Kingston Police have charged Audelis Cruz, 49, with murder by strangulation in the second degree in the death of Anita Jacobs-Royer.
“During our interviews, we developed some information for a possible person of interest and following those leads thoroughly it led us to Mr. Cruz,” Lt. Thierry Croizer said.
Cruz had fled to New York City. Police picked him up Sunday in Manhattan on a parole violation charge.
Croizer said, “To find him in New York City, with at least eight million inhabitants, it’s quite amazing.”
A feat pulled off with the help of the NYPD, a fugitive task force and a long list of other agencies. Locals stepped in as well. A tip on Facebook led police to her missing car near the Motel 19 in Kingston, where Cruz had been staying before he took off.
“Without the public’s help, the witnesses help and all the other agencies involved, we wouldn’t have been able to make an arrest,” Croizer said.
Police say they were initially called to Jacobs-Royer's home by a concerned family member. They say they don’t yet have a motive and add the relationship between the two remains under investigation.
“It’s a shame. God bless her,” Bob Gorsline said.
Cruz was recently released from prison and was on a parole for robbery in the first degree when police picked him up. He is currently in the Ulster County Jail and is expected to be arraigned this Wednesday.