HARLEM — A 19-year-old woman whose body was found stuffed inside a 55-gallon drum in a Harlem apartment Saturday was allegedly stabbed to death by her former boyfriend, police sources said.
Cops have been unable to identify family members for the woman found at 2400 Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard Saturday night.
The woman was stabbed several times in the chest and then dumped into the drum, sources said. Her body was discovered when the grandmother of the male suspect — who police sources said may suffer from bipolar disorder — noticed he was acting strangely.
He was taken to St. Luke's Hospital. When the grandmother returned home, she discovered a foul odor.
She opened the drum in the suspect's room and found the body. Police arrived at the scene at 9:47 p.m. on Saturday.
There is no motive in the killing as of yet, sources said.
At the apartment where the body was found, the door was sealed with a note from police barring entry to the apartment.
Neighbors said they were surprised the alleged suspect, who they said lived with his grandmother, would be accused of such a horrible crime. Others described seeing the young man with a girlfriend.
"He didn't seem like the type," said a resident of the building who asked to be identified only as Pat. "But you never know."
Another neighbor down the hall from the apartment was also shocked.
"I didn't think he would do anything like that," said the woman, who declined to give her name. "I was surprised when [cops] knocked on my door."
Another young neighbor said the suspect would give him money whenever he saw him on the elevator.
"He was nice. I'm sad about what happened," said the neighbor, who also declined to be identified.
Cindy Stewart, 54, a disabled resident of the building for the last 20 years, said the news was shocking.
"That makes me nervous. We have children here," she said.
Stewart said she heard a lot of commotion when police arrived.
"Police being here is nothing new, but I would have never expected something like this," Stewart said.