Man Confesses to Weekend Murder of Gay NYC Student in Chelsea
A suspect has confessed to the murder of Kevin Pravia, a 19-year-old gay student who was killed in his apartment on 15th street in the Chelsea district of Manhattan over the weekend following a party near the city's South Street Seaport.
According to the NY Daily News, Pravia's body was discovered — a cord around his neck and a plastic bag shoved down his throat — by his roommate Josephine Madonna, when she returned from a weekend trip:
"Police sources said they were testing theplastic bag, sheet and cord for forensic evidence and looking through surveillance video to see who came in and outof the building. The student's death has not been officially ruled a murder. An autopsy was inconclusive and further tests were needed. As cops dug for clues, Pravia's mother, Paula, made a grim pilgrimage to New York from Peru, Mass., to identify her son. Police said there was no evidence of forced entry or sexual assault. A neighbor, who asked not to be identified, said Madonna and Pravia, friends from Massachusetts, moved into the Chelsea building just two week ago. He was gay and Madonna is straight, the neighbor said. 'His [moving boxes are] still in the hallway,' she said. Another neighbor, Teresa Hicks, 41, was startled when Madonna, who was away for several days, screamed when she found the body in the fifth-floor apartment. 'The girl was shouting, 'My God! My God! He's dead,'' Hicks said."
The NY Post reports: "A 22-year-old Queens man has confessed to killing a Pace University student, who was found strangled in his Chelsea apartment Sunday, police sources said today. The unidentified suspect told cops that he choked and robbed victim Kevin Pravia, 19, after meeting him in Union Square at about 6 a.m. Sunday and accompanying him back to his home. The suspect allegedly told investigators that he bought drugs from Pravia before they went to the apartment - though police sources said they doubt the drug buy claim. Exactly why they went back to the apartment was unclear. But after arriving there and hanging out for a while, Pravia fell asleep, the suspect told cops. That when he allegedly tried to rob the student. The suspect told cops that he punched the sleeping teen, put an electrical cord around his neck, stuffed a plastic bag in his mouth and strangled him."