UK & World News
Brooklyn Family Stabbings: Cousin Charged
A Chinese immigrant has been charged with murder after a woman and her four young children were found stabbed to death at their home in New York City.
The suspect, 25-year-old Mingdong Chen, implicated himself in the killings, police said.
Chen is a cousin of the dead children's father and had been staying at the family's apartment on 57th Street, near Ninth Avenue, in Brooklyn, for the past week, police added.
Chief of Department Philip Banks III said the victims had been "butchered with a kitchen knife" and had wounds in their necks and torsos.
Chen did not enter a plea at a court appearance on Monday.
His defence attorney, Danielle Eaddy, declined to comment following the proceeding.
Chief Banks said Chen came to the United States from China in 2004 and seemingly struggled to make ends meet.
"Ever since he came to this country, everybody seems to be doing better than him," he said.
The victims have been named as Qiao Zhen Li, 37, Linda Zhuo, nine, Amy Zhuo, seven, Kevin Zhuo, five, and one-year-old William Zhuo.
William and the two girls were pronounced dead at the scene by emergency crews.
The woman and five-year-old boy were taken to separate Brooklyn hospitals where they were later pronounced dead.
Family members made the grisly discovery after they were alerted by a relative in China, who had received a phone call from Qiao Zhen Li earlier in the evening.
Chief Banks said the mother had called her mother-in-law in China amid concerns over Chen's "suspicious" behaviour.
Relatives went to the house at about 11pm and kept banging on the door until someone answered, police said.
It was Chen, "and they see that he's covered with blood," Chief Banks said.
They immediately fled the scene and called 911.
The children's distraught father reportedly arrived home from work to find the area already sealed off by police.
"The father was freaking out," neighbour May Chan told the Daily News. "He just came home from work and saw the police and they told him. He was hysterical."
Chen was arrested inside the apartment.
He is also charged with assaulting on a police officer, which allegedly happened while he was being taken into custody, and resisting arrest, Chief Banks said.
Bob Madden, who lives nearby, saw a man being escorted from the building by police.
He was barefoot, wearing jeans and "was staring, he was expressionless", he said.