Police are one step closer to catching the man who stabbed two children in East New York and may have knifed another 18-year-old to death, an official familiar with the situation indicated Wednesday.
Police were able to get DNA from a the knife used in the attacks, which was analyzed the Medical Examiner’s office, said the official. Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce said the case has “somewhat picked up a lot of steam in the last two hours,” at an unrelated press conference Wednesday afternoon.
Commissioner William Bratton said “there certainly are” persons of interest in the case, but declined to elaborate further.
Police have said it is possible the same man who killed 6-year-old Prince Joshua Avitto, known as PJ, and stabbed 6-year-old Mikayla Capers more than a dozen times may have also killed an 18-year-old girl to death Friday night. PJ was stabbed to death inside an elevator just before 6 p.m. on Schenck Avenue near Stanley Avenue on Sunday.
Tanaya Copeland, a LIU Brooklyn student, was stabbed more than 30 times and found just blocks away by a cab driver near a rail yard by Stanley Avenue and Linwood Street.
Police believe it is possible the same man, described as about 6-feet tall with a heavy build, committed both crimes due to the proximity of the stabbings and the type of weapon used.
“There are both similarities and dissimilarities between the two incidents,” Boyce said. “However, we have to proceed as if they are aligned.”
The reward for information leading to an arrest rose to $62,000 on Wednesday, police said.
— Anthony DeStefano contributed to this report.