The cousin of a woman found dead with her ankles bound in a plastic bin dumped on a New York City street was arrested and charged in connection to her death, authorities said.
On Feb. 25, NYPD officers discovered the decomposing body of Nisaa Walcott, 35, stuffed inside the clear container on a sidewalk in the Bronx.
Walcott was last seen alive on Feb. 16. Two days later, the New York Post reported, Assistant District Attorney Elizabeth Clerkin alleged Walcott’s 21-year-old cousin, Khalid Barrow, put the single mother’s body in the bin and dragged it to the roof of the her East Harlem apartment building.
During the following week, court filings state, Walcott’s 14-year-old son received texts purportedly sent by her telling him Barrow would look after him while she was gone on business and advising the boy not to tell his uncle. The teenager allegedly also discovered the suspect cleaning the apartment floor, which smelled of bleach, Clerkin said.
Other family became suspicious when they began receiving texts from the missing woman.
"No matter what she was going through, she always picks up the phone for me," Walcott’s brother, Eugene Butler, told WABC-TV.
Loved ones eventually reported the single mother's disappearance to police.
On Feb. 25 around 1 a.m., “surveillance video shows [Barrow] in Ms. Walcott’s building with another person dragging a clear plastic storage bin down from the roof, in the elevator in the lobby, and out of the building,” Assistant D.A. Clerkin claimed. “Approximately one hour later, surveillance video in the Bronx captures the defendant taking that bin out of a car in the Bronx, where he dragged it to the sidewalk and abandoned it.”
Clerkin alleged Barrow moved Walcott’s body after police contacted him on Feb. 24 about her disappearance.
At the suspect’s Feb. 27 arraignment, Manhattan prosecutors said an autopsy showed the victim had suffered a broken hyoid bone as well as bruises on her back, indicating she was strangled to death by an assailant who pinned her down, the New York Post reported.
Barrow was ordered held without bail on charges including second-degree murder and three counts of concealment of a human corpse, according to The Post.
He is scheduled to next appear in court on March 4.
“She was an open book, wore her heart on her sleeve,” Sinclair Mott, social worker Walcott’s co-worker at the Administration for Children's Services, told WABC-TV, noting, “I didn't know anything was happening in her personal life like that, that would lead to anything like this.”