A man and a woman were found dead in a room at the St. Louis Hall SRO and supportive housing development on West 94th street this morning, in what police believe was a murder-suicide.
A 44-year-old woman was found dead with bruises to her head and a 58-year-old man hung himself in room B404 at St. Louis Hall, the SRO building at 319 West 94th street, an NYPD spokesman told us. A medical examiner will determine the cause of the woman’s death. The two were not married — a tipster tells us they may have been boyfriend and girlfriend and that the woman had four children, although the police could not confirm that.
The call came in to the police at 11:15 a.m. The deceased were not yet being identified to the public as of 6:30. The woman lived at the residence, but it’s not clear whether the man lived there.
Update: The New York Post has a story that corroborates what we’ve reported and adds a few details: The woman was named Florenciana Martinez and the man was Edwin Rodriguez. They were discovered by Martinez’s 19-year-old son.
St. Louis Hall has been undergoing construction so that it can be used to house formerly homeless people with a history of mental illness: “Seventy-four units will be set-aside for single adults with histories of recent homelessness and mental illness. Corresponding to the renovation schedule, new tenants will move in over a several month period beginning in November 2012 and ending in September 2013, when the building should be fully occupied,” according to the website for the building. Neighbors have complained about the construction, safety and health problems at the site, as well as the city’s increasing use of buildings in the 90’s for supportive housing.
Clarification: We initially said St. Louis Hall is an SRO and homeless shelter. In addition to SRO tenants, the building is meant to house people with histories of mental illness and recent homelessness, as referred by the Department of Homeless Services, but is not a traditional homeless shelter.
Thank you to our anonymous tipsters and photographer on this story.