2016-01-13 / Front Page

Boyfriend Charged In First ’16 Slay

By Liz Goff
A 24-year-old Queens man was charged with second-degree murder on January 5, in the death of his 19-year-old girlfriend – the city’s first homicide of 2016.

Fabian Maliza was charged in the murder of Jocelin Romo, 19, who was found dead in her bed on New Year’s Day.

Romo was found at about 10:45 p.m. on January 1, face down and unconscious in a bed in her apartment on 86th Street near 91st Avenue in Woodhaven, police said.

A spokesperson for the city Medical Examiner’s office said Romo died of “homicidal violence” including blunt force trauma to her head and compression of her neck.

First responders found an open bottle of pills by Romo’s side, prompting investigators to initially question if she had died of an overdose, a law enforcement source said.

After the body arrived at the morgue, investigators saw Romo had suffered “extensive facial damage and numerous, blunt punches to her midsection,” the source said. Autopsy results confirmed she was the city’s first homicide victim of 2016.

The city Medical Examiner’s office is awaiting the results of further tests to try to determine an exact day and time of death of the young woman, who lived for about one year in a first-floor apartment at the two-story Woodhaven home.

Investigators who went to pick up Romo’s boyfriend, Fabian Malina, for questioning following the murder found he had slashed his left wrist, police said. He was taken to Jamaica Hospital Center for treatment of the wound and was held over for psychiatric evaluation.

Police sources said Malina, a prime suspect in Romo’s murder, “made a few statements” to investigators after he was taken into custody. Friends told police they last saw Romo early on January 1, when the couple had a “heated argument” after leaving a New Year’s Eve party/, a law enforcement source said.

Malina was charged with second-degree murder at his arraignment and was held without bail.


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