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SoHo man suffocates 92-year-old roommate with pillow, NYPD says

Enrique Leyva, 47, was charged with murder.

A man killed his 92-year-old roommate in SoHo

A man killed his 92-year-old roommate in SoHo on Thursday, March 8, 2018, police said. Photo Credit: Rajvi Desai

A man was arrested Thursday after police said he suffocated his 92-year-old roommate in SoHo, police said.

Enrique Leyva, 47, smothered his roommate, Veronica Ivins, with a pillow inside their apartment on Sullivan Street, between Broome and Spring streets, shortly before 7 a.m., police said.

Ivins was taken to New York Presbyterian, where she was pronounced dead, cops said.

Neighbors said there were recent issues between Leyva and Ivins.

“We would hear breaking glass, breaking furniture, drinks thrown around, people yelling,” said Brooklyn Lastra, 34, who lives on a floor above them.

“The conditions of the apartment are horrendous. There’s a horrible smell, there are roaches and mice,” Lastra added.

Neighbors had called city agencies, including Adult Protective Services, to report concerns about Ivins’ safety and living conditions, Lastra said.

“This was extremely avoidable. We were trying to prevent it for two years. We called the police several times too,” she said.

Ivins had lived in the apartment since the 1960s, Lastra said. Leyva moved in a few years ago after Ivin’s daughter died from cancer, she said.

“At first things seemed to be going well,” she said. “He seemed like a caretaker. We didn’t think he was physically abusing her but financially, I thought he was.”

Leyva was charged with murder, police said.

A spokesperson with the city’s Human Resources Administration, which oversees the APS program, said they "cannot discuss the specifics of this matter," citing social service law. The building’s superintendent and management company did not respond to phone calls.


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