Slain wife’s hubby nabbed

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A Queens man whose wife, a teacher, was savagely beaten to death in her Astoria apartment building last week, is now in police custody.

Jordan Hawes, 32, was picked up in Bridgeport, Conn. and charged with possession of a stolen car and as a fugitive from justice, according to Connecticut State Police in Bridgeport. He was being held in a Bridgeport hospital’s psychiatric ward, according to police.

The NYPD has called him a “person of interest” in last Thursday night’s killing of his 33-year-old wife, Tara Hawes. Connecticut State Police said he was operating a stolen 2008 Jeep with New York tags when he pulled into an I-95 rest area in Fairfield, Conn. late Saturday night. He was apprehended inside the rest area McDonald’s and taken into custody by Connecticut State Police.

Family members discovered the blood-soaked body of Tara Hawes in the apartment she shared with her husband and their Labrador just before 8:30 p.m. last Thursday.

Despite reports that the victim was found with her throat slashed, Ellen Borakove, a spokeswoman for the city medical examiner, said the cause of death was “blunt impact injuries and multiple skull fractures.”

The nature of the couple’s relationship seemed unclear as did the husband’s demeanor.

Some of their neighbors, including the family that lives right across the hall, said they seemed content.

“We never heard them fighting, they always seemed like a very happy couple,” said Nicole Delatorre, 14, who lives across the hall with her mother, Amparo Escobar.

The neighbor spoke in front of a foreboding, darkly lit hallway across from the victim’s apartment at the Carver Arms, at 26-80 30th St.

“That’s why it’s so scary to think that something like this could happen here,” she said.

Others familiar with the couple in the building, including the superintendent, said the husband was often surly and withdrawn.

More alarming were descriptions of how he interacted with his wife.

“All the time, I would hear him yelling at her,” said Brian Desi, who has been the super at the building for 16 years.

Desi said the couple’s arguments would always occur outside the building and that there was never an incident in their apartment.

Oddly, however, he said he was doing maintenance directly outside the doorway of the building on the day of the murder when he saw the husband enter three times.

“But I never saw him leave the building,” said Desi. ‘The only other way to get out is through the basement.”

Updated 1:10 am, February 9, 2012
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