Rhode Island Woman, 68, Wanted to Adopt Teen — and Now Girl Is Accused of Murdering Her
Heavenly Arroyo, 15, of Rhode Island, is behind bars and awaiting trial after being charged with allegedly stabbing Ana Vazquez, 68, more than 14 times
A 15-year-old girl is facing murder charges for allegedly fatally stabbing the 68-year-old Rhode Island woman she was living with — who was making plans with other family members to adopt the teen, the Providence Journal reports.
Heavenly Arroyo, who is from Rochester, New York, but recently moved to Fall River, was arrested on Oct. 6 and charged with murder for allegedly stabbing Ana Vazquez at least 14 times in her Fall River apartment earlier that day, local station WPRI, the Providence Journal, and CBS Boston report.
Arroyo’s uncle, who lived in the apartment, and “the family in that apartment,” including Vazquez, were trying to adopt her, Assistant District Attorney Dennis Collins, who is prosecuting the murder case, told the Providence Journal Thursday. “That was the understanding with her mother.”
Shortly after the teen’s arrest, while she was at the Fall River Police Department, she was heard talking to herself while walking around the interview room, WPRI reports.
An officer allegedly said he heard her say, “I killed the old lady, and I am sorry,” according to a police report filed in court, WPRI, the Providence Journal, and CBS Boston report.
During a brief court appearance on Oct. 7, Arroyo reportedly smiled and said, “That’s me,” when she heard her name read in court, WPRI, the Providence Journal, and CBS Boston report.
She also thanked the judge, the outlets report.
She was ordered held without bail, the Providence Journal reports.
She has not yet entered a plea. She will be tried as an adult, say prosecutors, CBS Boston reports.
Her attorney, John Geary, did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.
He told WPRI, “You’ve got to remember, she’s a 15-year-old and this is her first experience as far as I can tell. She knows she was in court. I don’t believe she knew the seriousness of what was happening.”
The alleged stabbing came to light at about 5 p.m. on Oct. 6, when Vazquez’s grandson called 911 to report a medical emergency at their apartment at the Father Diaferio Village housing complex apartment, WPRI, the Providence Journal, and CBS Boston report.
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Arroyo had just moved in with Vazquez in September, Bristol County District Attorney spokesman Gregg Miliote told the Providence Journal. She had been living in Rochester with her mother, who’d made arrangements for her daughter to live with Vazquez, the outlet reports.
Officers who rushed to the apartment found Vazquez on the floor of her bedroom, which was covered in blood, the Providence Journal reports.
She had been stabbed multiple times and suffered injuries to her face and torso, the police report states. She was taken to a local hospital where she later died.
Arroyo was at the apartment with Vazquez and the woman’s grandson before the alleged stabbing took place, WPRI reports.
The unidentified grandson said he was playing video games when Arroyo told him that his grandmother was on the floor of her bedroom, the Providence Journal reports.
Arroyo told responding officers she saw an intruder in a mask wearing black clothing running from the apartment building before taking off in a black car, the Providence Journal reports.
Security camera footage allegedly links Arroyo to “potential evidence associated with the investigation” and allegedly shows her putting a knife and bloody clothes into a nearby dumpster, court documents state, WPRI reports.
Arroyo was “acquainted with the family” and her mother allowed her to live with them, Geary said, the Providence Journal reports.
He says he wants to find out more about Arroyo’s mental health history, saying, “We’ve got to gather a lot of information and find out what is going on with her,” he said.
The teen was not enrolled in school, the Providence Journal reports.