UPPER WEST SIDE — The husband of a private wealth advisor who was found dead in her bathtub on New Year's Eve in 2009 amid a bitter divorce battle was arrested Sunday and charged with her murder, police said.
Roderick Covlin, 42, was charged with murdering Shele Danishefsky Covlin, 47, in her apartment at 155 W. 68th St. years after authorities originally ruled the death an accident, police and the Manhattan District Attorney said.
Danishefsky Covlin, who worked as a private wealth advisor at UBS Wealth Management, was found by her 9-year-old daughter in the bathtub in the morning early morning of Dec. 31, 2009.
Officials initially called the death an accident believed to be caused by a fall, but ruled the death a homicide about six months later.
Danishefsky Covlin's family had buried her without an autopsy for religious reasons, but some family members remained suspicious about the cause.
Her relatives changed their mind in February 2010 and had her body exhumed, with the medical examiner later concluding that Covlin died due to pressure on her neck, a spokeswoman for the ME said.
Danishefsky Covlin and her husband, who was living in an apartment down the hall, were embroiled in a bitter divorce at the time of her death. She had expressed fears that he “intended to kill her,” and got a restraining order that would bar him from contact with her or her two children, according to court documents.
Witnesses said Roderick Covlin, who goes by Ron, was acting erratically around the time of the murder.
An unidentified witness recalled that the building's doorman said the husband was “roaming the lobby at 4 in the morning, he hadn’t changed his clothes in days, and he looked whacked."
In the months after Danishefsky Covlin's death, her brother Philip Danishefsky tried to block her husband from inheriting her estate and getting custody of the couple's children, Anna, 9, and Myles, 3.
The children moved in with Danishefsky Covlin's parents, sparking a custody battle, and the family sued Roderick Covlin for wrongful death in December 2011.
The DA has been building a case against Roderick Covlin for the past five years, prosecutors said. He was apprehended at a train station in Scarsdale Sunday and brought to the Upper West Side's 20th Precinct, where he was charged, police and the DA said.
Covlin, a resident of New Rochelle, is currently being held without bail, authorities said.
"It is our hope that this prosecution will bring justice for Ms. Danishevsky Covlin, and provide closure to her grieving family and friends," said DA Cyrus Vance in a statement.
Covlin's attorney, Robert Gottlieb, denied that his client was responsible.
"We have said for years that Mr. Covlin has been the unfair target of enormous pressure from his ex-wife’s family to be blamed for her death," he said. "They have been involved in bitter battles involving money and custody and Mr. Covlin’s young children. It is unfortunate that six years later, Mr. Covlin is now having to fight yet another battle in criminal court. He has said for years and states again that he is not guilty of these serious charges."