New York City police on Monday (Nov. 29) arrested a home health aide for the July 19 slaying of a Staten Island man, 80, who was found with “I touch little girls” written on his chest, The New York Daily News reports.
Rene Ayarde, who lives in New Jersey, was extradited to New York Monday. She was indicted in Staten Island and charged with murder, manslaughter and assault. The court ordered her held without bail.
Assistant District Attorney Brooke Baranoski accused Ayarde of inflicting “significant trauma” to Robert Raynor’s head and torso, according to SILive.com. He sustained cranial bleeding and fractures to the nose, sternum and ribs.
A neighbor found Raynor’s body in the hallway of his multifamily building, face up and shirtless. The messages, “I touch little girls” and “I take dolls into my room” were written in black marker across his chest.
Ayarde’s lawyer, Mark J. Fonte, pleaded not guilty on her behalf, declining to make further comments outside the courtroom, SILive.com reported.
Ayarde and her daughter, 3, lived with Raynor. But it’s unclear if the phrases written on Raynor’s chest were accusations related to the girl.
Raynor is not listed on the state’s sex offender registry, and the prosecutor has not accused him of pedophilia, according to SILive.com.
“That mess she wrote on his chest is not true. She wrote that on him to justify what she did, which you cannot justify — taking anyone’s life,” Raynor’s daughter Carolyn Whetstone told the Daily News.
She continued, “My dad is not that kind of person. He had cancer and arthritis, so he didn’t even have the physical ability to do that.”
Ayarde was charged separately in July for assaulting her daughter, the Daily News reported. She was arrested on that charge shortly after Raynor’s body was found. Ayarde allegedly dropped the little girl onto the concrete and dragged her along the street. Investigators also found multiple wounds on the little girl’s body that were in various phases of healing.