Six days after asking for the public's help, the NYPD's Chief of Detectives announced on Thursday morning that they had located a teen "regarding the recent homicide in Morningside Park," referring to the murder of Barnard College student Tessa Majors.
"We have located this individual. Thank you to everyone who reached out with information," Chief of Detectives Rodney Harrison tweeted. "This is an active and ongoing investigation." [Updated] The NYPD also confirmed that the teen was in custody, but Harrison Tweeted at 2:41, "Earlier today, we announced that we located the 3rd subject in the Tessa Majors Investigation. This was a significant development in the investigative process. After being taken into custody, his attorneys were present at the 26 precinct for the entire investigative process. Although he has since been released to the custody of his attorneys, the investigation remains very active. Our detectives are the best at what they do and are committed to finding justice for all parties involved."
On December 11, Majors, 18, was fatally stabbed in the park, in an apparent mugging around 5:30 p.m. Police arrested a 13-year-old suspect, who faces charges of felony murder, robbery and weapons possession in Family Court, while seeking others apparently involved in the incident. Authorities say this teen picked up the knife, which had been dropped, and handed it to another suspect, who used it to kill Majors.
Another suspect was questioned and released, while police were trying to question a third teen, 14, who was reportedly scheduled to meet with police but then allegedly fled on the way to questioning.
The teen was apparently in the Bronx before going to the 26th Precinct. The Post reports, "The teen is being represented by a lawyer and is not expected to agree to be questioned, said another source familiar with the investigation."
Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem confirmed to Gothamist that it is representing the individual, but declined to comment at this time.
The NYPD Tweeted images of the teen; the NY Times points out, "The Police Department seldom seeks the public’s assistance in finding minors who are suspects in major crimes. But investigators, under pressure to solve the first high-profile murder under the newly minted police commissioner, Dermot F. Shea, seemed eager to find the wanted boy."
Crime in the park had increased this year, and Barnard and Columbia students said they were never warned. Katherine Franke, a Columbia Law professor who said she had stopped going into the park a year ago, said that Columbia needed "to engage with the underlying causes of the kind of violence that we've been seeing in that park rather than merely sending us a notice every time someone's been attacked."