Woodhaven teen charged in her brother’s murder: Police

Crime scene tape surrounds the house on 88th Street in Woodhaven Saturday morning. Photo by Christina Santucci
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A young Woodhaven woman was arrested Saturday after she allegedly stabbed her brother to death, police said.

Frank Fortuna, 20, was found Friday evening at around 5:24 p.m. with a stab wound in his neck inside the apartment he and his sister Yoearis Diaz, 18, shared in house on 88th Street and 89th Avenue, police said. Fortuna was taken to Jamaica Hospital Center, where he was pronounced dead, according to the NYPD.

Diaz was arrested the next day and charged with murder, police said.

Bryant Aracena, 19, said Fortuna and Diaz lived with another brother, Kelvin, and their mother, who was often away in the Dominican Republic. Aracena said Diaz worked as a bartender and in a nightclub and that Fortuna liked boxing.

He said the siblings had a turbulent relationship.

“One moment they would be really friendly with each other and the next they would be fighting,” Aracena said of the siblings.

Richard Smith, secretary for the 102nd Precinct Community Council and a neighbor of the siblings, said he had also heard loud disputes coming from the house.

“You drive by you can hear their arguing,” Smith said “They left open the door.”

Patrick Bolden, 17, who had been friends with Fortuna for about four to five years, said he was shocked by the killing.

“He was a good person,” he said.

However, Spiro Ferris, Diaz’s Manhattan lawyer, painted a much different picture of Fortuna. He said the argument that led to Fortuna’s death began after Fortuna falsely accused Diaz of stealing his cell phone. The argument escalated to the point where Diaz felt she needed to defend herself.

“It was never her intention to kill her half-brother,” Ferris said.

The attorney described Fortuna as a “belligerent, hostile, aggressive person.” He said Fortuna had gang affiliations and terrorized his sister and mother.

“It’s a very tragic situation,” Ferris said. “No one comes out a winner out of this incident.”

Rana Rahman, 43, another neighbor, said he saw Fortuna and Diaz sometimes in the mornings, although he did not talk much with them. He said as a father with children he found the incident scary, and he hoped something could be done to prevent such a situation from happening again.

“It’s not good for the neighborho­od,” Rahman said.

Smith said the precinct needed more cops, although he said it was difficult to prevent a senseless domestic dispute like this one.

“She couldn’t stab him in the shoulder and make the same point?” Smith asked.

The 102nd Precinct had two previous murders in 2012, according to police statistics. The precinct – which encompasses Woodhaven, Richmond Hill, South Richmond Hill and Kew Gardens – recorded six homicides in 2011.

Additional reporting by Christina Santucci

Reach reporter Rebecca Henely by e-mail at or by phone at 718-260-4564.

Updated 1:55 pm, September 9, 2012
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Reader feedback

yelena boguslavaskya from brooklyn ny says:
Police officer living and hearing disputes could do anything ? Other than Manhattan the NYPD is absent.
Sept. 9, 2012, 9:53 pm
yel from brooklyn ny says:
Other than in Manhattan the NYPD is absent !!
Sept. 9, 2012, 9:54 pm
Bless from Ozone says:
Who she thought she was GOD for taking her brother life me being a juror on this case ill let her rott killing your own brother regardless if it was her half brother and sister she had no right she did the crime now it's time to pay up
Sept. 9, 2012, 11:41 pm

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