[Update Below] A 73-year-old East Harlem granny was found dead in her apartment yesterday, tied up and suffocated with plastic. Though police are still investigating, it appears Julia Hernandez was murdered for a flat screen TV, some jewelry and some cash. "Whoever killed her, you’re going to get it and we’re going to find you," one of Hernandez's daughters, Elaine, told reporters last night.
Hernandez's other daughter, Jeanette Hernandez, found her mother last night about 7:40 p.m. after being unable to reach her all day. She borrowed a key from a neighbor and walked in to find "My mother was dead on the floor. She seemed like they had suffocated her, and they had her tied up. It was an apparent robbery."
Hernandez had lived in the Wagner houses on East 120th street for half a century. "A beautiful older woman, who was born and raised here," her granddaughter Jasminda Otero Hernandez remembered last night. "Everyone knew her. Everyone loved her. Everyone knows her. Why would they do this awful thing to her? I hope you enjoy your flat-screen TV. I really do. I hope you enjoy it."
Police are reportedly questioning a neighbor who saw a man entering the apartment, but no arrests have been made. Still, the grandmother's family is out for blood. "And we’re going to choke you, OK, for what you did to my mother," Elaine Hernandez said. "That’s all I got to say."
Update: Police are now looking to question 35-year-old Gregory Velez for his connection to the death of Hernandez. Velez is black, about 6-feet tall and weighs about 180 pounds. Anyone with information on his whereabouts should call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS.