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Woman, 25 stabs, kills lover: Cops

Devika Baldeo, a 25-year-old woman from Richmond Hill, has been charged with fatally stabbing her cousin, who was also her boyfriend, in the back following an argument last week in the couple's house late Wednesday night, police said.

The murder took place at 11:10 p.m. Jan. 24 at 97-16 129th St., where the couple lived with Baldeo's mother, said Betsy Hertzog, a spokeswoman for the Queens district attorney. According to arresting officers from the 102nd Precinct, the mother had dialed 911 after the stabbing occurred.

Baldeo is charged with two counts of second-degree murder in the death of her 31-year-old cousin, Chaud Persaud, the DA's office said.

"I am still in shock. I am shaking," said Baldeo's mother, Leyla, the following day as she left her house for a walk. "We called him Chaudo," she said.

The two were "cousins/boyfriend-girlfriend," said Detective James Weisbecker, who made the arrest. "It was an argument and that was about it."

Persaud had moved into his cousin's basement last summer, said Marla Haimraj, a next-door neighbor, who described him as a quiet man who never spoke to others in the neighborhood. Persaud had moved to Queens from Holland, police said.

Baldeo, however, had lived in the Indo-Guyanese neighborhood for quite some time, said Haimraj, who has lived next door to her and her mother for 10 years. Baldeo is a kind woman who often said hello to neighbors as she passed, Haimraj said.

The day after the stabbing, the front blinds at the Baldeos' two-story home were down and a bundle of mail sat untouched in the postbox. In the back yard, beneath a man's white T-shirt pinned to a laundry line stood a tall, floor-length mirror, which was cracked.

Another neighbor, Eva Jaikaran-Misir, whose property abuts the Baldeo home on the other side, said she did not hear a sound from the house that night.

"No screaming, nothing, nothing, nothing," said Jaikaran-Misir, standing in her front hallway, cowering from the cold. She often saw Baldeo, a small woman, outside of the house but never with Persaud, she said.

Jaikaran-Misir found out about the murder only when detectives arrived on the scene in the middle of the night, she said. Haimraj, the other neighbor, said Baldeo had apparently fled the house because the police were looking for her after responding to the 911 call.

At 12:10 am, an hour after first responding to the call, police said they found Baldeo a few blocks away staying with relatives.

"She did give statements," said Detective Daniel Leonard of the 102nd Precinct.

Reach reporter Jennifer Warren by e-mail at Timesledgr@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 155.

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