THE BRONX — A mother raising six foster children was beaten to death with a hammer during a domestic dispute with her live-in boyfriend in her Mott Haven apartment building Thursday night, police and friends said.
Wanda Martin, who friends said just turned 53, was attacked by her live-in boyfriend Darryl Gibbs, 50, in their sixth-floor apartment of the Mitchell Houses, 303 E. 135th St., near Alexander Avenue, about 8:30 p.m., NYPD officials said.
Police found her unconscious with blunt force trauma to her head and stab wounds to her back, they said. She was pronounced dead at the scene.
Gibbs, who stands at 6 feet 1 inch tall and 270 pounds, had not been arrested as of Friday afternoon, police said.
The couple did not have any history of domestic violence with the NYPD, and Gibbs has had two prior arrests for minor offenses, police said.
She and Gibbs had been engaged to be married for about nine years, said friends who had never seen him act violently towards her.
Martin was originally a foster mother for six children and decided to adopt all of them. They all still lived with her and were between the ages of nine and 16, according to friends and the NYPD.
The mother originally adopted three of the children, who are biological siblings, and when another foster mother decided not to adopt their other three siblings Martin took in those children as well, Pinckney said.
"She was a beautiful mother," her best friend, Geneen Pinckney, said. “She had two grown children and she just adopted them.”
She moved out of her bedroom into the living room to turn her two bedroom apartment into a three bedroom, her best friend added.
Martin already had two grown children, one who was a school teacher and the other who was in the Navy, according to Pinckney.
"It's such a tragedy. My heart is so heavy, now," said the best friend.