NEW YORK (CBS 2) — Friends and family bid an emotional goodbye to a murdered couple on Staten Island, and all as their son, arrested in Israel, was on a flight back to New York to face charges, reports CBS 2′s Dave Carlin.
“It’s crushing, it’s crushing,” Mike Ruscitto said.
Ruscitto spoke publically for the first time at the crowded wake in Annadale for his sister, Marian Bellucci, and her husband, Arthur.
The Belluccis were stabbed to death in their home, allegedly by their own son, Eric.
Eric, a 30-year-old former star high school athlete, fled to Israel and was on the run for two days before getting caught in Tel Aviv’s airport. Investigators said he was about to fly to China by way of Turkey.
“It’s a relief that he is in custody for his health, our health and his own, his own safety,” Ruscitto said of his nephew.
“What I know of Eric – haven’t seen him in years – he was always a good kid,” family friend Lou DeAngelo said.
At the wake and outside the family’s home on Poillon Avenue were outpourings of support. Neighbors said they are especially concerned for 25-year-old Vanessa, who discovered her parents’ bodies.
“I just can’t imagine what she is going through,” neighbor Nicholas Tamborra said. “Just the fact she can’t move away from it – it’s always going to be with her.”
Relatives described Eric as a schizophrenic prone to violent episodes. He was apprehended thanks to a flight attendant who recognized him from media reports. She said he appeared to be “unstable.”
“We do understand there were mental health issues,” Ruscitto said. “It is something that is hard to rationalize, but at the same time, we’re still mourning.”
Investigators say Eric Bellucci is on a flight from Israel to Kennedy Airport, scheduled to land early in the morning. He will be brought directly to the 120 Precinct stationhouse for processing before heading to court on Monday.