A former Harlem resident was arrested at JFK Airport for the 1990 murder of her boyfriend.
Zunilda Rosario, 48, was arrested on Thursday after landing in JFK from the Dominican Republic and is being held without bail for the 26-year-old murder of the father of her children, the New York Post reported.
According to police reports, Rosario shot and killed Juan Deleon on Feb. 11, 1990 in the lobby of 510 West 150 Street, Sugar Hill, West Harlem. The 19-year-old was shot in the head and torso a total of nine times and pronounced dead at the scene.
The criminal complaint against Rosario states that she became angry when she found out that her boyfriend fathered a child with another woman in 1989, the New York Daily News reported. Rosario allegedly threatened to kill Deleon twice before and had pointed a gun to his head at least once.
“This is a very strong circumstantial case,” prosecutor Erin Tierney said, the Daily News reported. “It includes witnesses who knew the defendant and victim and put her at the scene.”
The case went cold until a witness stepped forward in February and told police that Rosario was fighting with Deleon just moments before the shooting. In 1990, Rosario told police that someone shot Deleon in front of her.
“The day [the murder] happened, she gave the police a statement,” a relative of Rosario told the Post. “They took her statement and tested her hands for gunpowder residue, which came back negative.”
“She has been wrongfully charged with this,” the relative added. “This is a woman who has so much integrity. She is a taxpayer. She went to Providence for a better life. This is a woman who would never, never harm anybody. We are all shocked.”
Six years after the murder, Rosario and her two daughters moved to Providence, Rhode Island where she lived under her real name and worked as a school bus driver.
A family friend insisted that Rosario did not even know police considered her a suspect.
“Even when they moved they would come back here each year for holidays,” the friend told the Daily News.
Police investigated 2,245 killings in New York in 1990, the highest murder rate the city has ever seen, the Daily News reported.