A member of the U.S. Air Force and her two toddler sons were discovered dead in their Staten Island home on Saturday. The boys' father, who was found hours earlier walking along the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway after apparently getting into a car crash and taken to Maimonides Medical Center, was arrested for murder, among other charges.
Police say they received a call on June 22nd around 10:30 a.m. about an assault in progress at 25 Palisade Street, in the South Beach section, and when officers arrived, they noticed a small fire. After firefighters put out the fire, they found Alla Ausheva, 37, as well as three-year-old Elia Walker and two-year-old Ivan Walker. EMS pronounced all three dead.
Ausheva was found bludgeoned to death, according to the Post. The Daily News reports that the boys may have been "drowned in the bathroom tub and then carried into the room where their mother’s lifeless body was found with severe injuries to her head and face, sources said."
Shane Walker, 36, was charged with murder, manslaughter, arson, and criminal possession of a weapon. It's believed he is also a member of the military. He had been arrested last December for assaulting Ausheva, who received an order of protection against him; the NY Times reports, "She obtained a protective order against him, but it was no longer in effect when she and the children were found on Saturday morning, the police said."
"She was always alone and taking care of the kids," a neighbor told the Staten Island Advance. As for Walker, she said, "I haven’t seen him in a very long time. He was somewhere and recently came back."
A supervisor of Ausheva told the Post that she called police after seeing the fire and the bodies. "I received a call from work," she said. "Someone called me to go there and check on her... I’m sorry. It’s just a tragedy. She didn’t deserve it. Honestly, there are no words."
Ausheva, originally from Russia, won a green card lottery in 2011 and became a naturalized citizen in 2012, in a ceremony presided over by President Barack Obama at the White House on July 4, 2012.
She also loved music and attended a singing school. Her teacher Linda Amiel Burns said, "She was so enthusiastic about being an American. She was so loving and so adorable... She said her dream was to sing." At the end of a video from 2012, she described how she moved to the U.S. from Russia in 2011, "One year ago I moved from Russia. That’s when my first dream came true. Then in the summer I joined the U.S. Army. That’s when my second dream came true. Now, I’m singing on a real stage and not in the shower. That’s my third dream that’s come true. And now I wonder what’s next."
“She was so enthusiastic about being an American," former singing instructor Linda Amiel Burns said to the Advance. “She was so loving and so adorable... She said her dream was to sing.”