JERUSALEM (AP/CBS 2) — Israeli police on Friday arrested a U.S. citizen who flew to Israel after allegedly stabbing his parents to death in their Staten Island home earlier this week.
Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said police detained the man at Israel’s Ben-Gurion International Airport while he was trying to buy a plane ticket. Police are questioning the suspect, who will remain in custody while Israel coordinates his extradition to the U.S.
The NYPD identified the man as Eric Bellucci. His parents, Arthur and Marian, were found dead earlier this week in their Annadale home.
Rosenfeld said police had been searching for Bellucci for nearly 24 hours in coordination with the NYPD. Israeli TV footage showed police hauling an unshaven, woozy Bellucci from the airport into a van. His eyes were shut and he did not resist.
Bellucci is not an Israeli citizen, and it was unclear why he had traveled to Israel.
Liron Cohen, an airport check-in attendant, told Israel’s Channel 10 the man “appeared unstable, spoke to himself and wasn’t sure what he wanted” when he was at her counter.
He tried to buy a one-way ticket on a Turkish airline to Beijing via Istanbul, but his credit card was rejected, she said. When he offered to return with cash, she checked his passport, called her supervisors and security detained him, she said.
The NYPD said it found the slain couple Wednesday night after a 911 call from a relative. Police identified them as Arthur Bellucci, 61, and Marian Bellucci, 56.
Bellucci might be brought back from Israel as early as Sunday, CBS 2’s Pablo Guzman reported. When he returns, he will formally be charged with the murder of his parents.
The New York Post reported that the couple’s daughter had found their bodies.
“She opened the door and saw blood on the floor in the foyer,” the paper quoted Joe Ciervo, the suspect’s uncle, as saying. “She knew something was bad in there. She didn’t want to go in. She left right away and called 911.”
A neighbor said he believed the couple would still be alive if the law allowed parents of emotionally disturbed adult children more authority.
“I mean, my conversations with his father were deep. And Artie always knew Eric was troubled; and he was trying to get him some help,” the neighbor said.
Police found Eric Bellucci’s SUV parked at Newark Liberty International Airport.
The NYPD said previously that the son lived with his parents and suffered from schizophrenia.
He was once a star athlete at Stuyvesant High School in Manhattan, and his father was a senior associate at a large real estate company, according to published reports.
(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)