ARVERNE, QUEENS, NY (PIX11)—After a woman was found brutally stabbed to death, police question her husband and search for her landlord. Figuring out the relationship among the three may help to crack this homicide case, but doing so may be a significant challenge, especially while the landlord, the primary person of interest in the crime, is nowhere to be found.
"I'm in shock," said a neighbor who lives across the street from 6527 Seaspray Avenue, the two family townhome where the killing took place. She did not want her name to be used, but spoke extensively with PIX11 News about what happened to Karla Shah Boguwalski, 39.
Other neighbors spoke as well about what went on in the townhome where Boguslaw lived with her husband in half of the building, and their landlord, known in the neighborhood as Doctor Howard, lived in the other half.
"The body was found in the landlord's apartment," said Pasquale Martinelli, who lives three houses over. As for the landlord's whereabouts, "They can't find him," Martinelli said. "I went to police [when they arrived], and said, 'Maybe you should consider investigating this house.'"
Police had been to the townhouse just two weeks before, according to neighbors. They said that officers responded to a 911 call from Shah Boguwalski in which she reported strange behavior from her landlord.
"He kept going into their apartment without authorization," the neighbor who did not want to be identified said. She knows all three of the people involved in the case, and said that the landlord, Dr. Howard, had told neighbors that he was a retired neurologist.
However, veteran NYPD detective sergeant Wally Zeins unearthed further information about the case and about the primary person of interest. "He lost his license," Zeins said about the doctor, who he said lives in Astoria, Queens, and uses his Arverne apartment as a second home.
Detective Sergeant Zeins also says that the situation may have the marks of a classic type of criminal case. "Not to say it's a love triangle," Zeins told PIX11 News, "but it falls into some of the parameters."
Karla Shah Boguwalsk's husband originally called cops to report his wife missing on Sunday. Responding officers may have found a trail of blood which indicated that her body had been moved within the townhouse after she had been tabbed.
Investigators questioned the husband for hours, both at the house and at the local police precinct, the 100th. Doing the same with the landlord could answer many of the as yet unanswered questions.
However, as Zeins pointed out, "It also could be someone totally different. This particular landlord rents [his apartment] out to residents in the summertime, so police are going to have to check out the big picture."