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EXCLUSIVE: Strange Twists And Turns In Italian College Student Murder Probe

Sources: Old Flame Killed Rita Morelli, Then Tried To Kill Himself
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Rita Morelli was found dead inside her Harlem apartment. (credit: CBS 2 | Handout)

Rita Morelli was found dead inside her Harlem apartment. (credit: CBS 2 | Handout)

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — There was an arrest Wednesday night in the baffling murder of an Italian college student and waitress.

Sources told CBS 2’s Derricke Dennis her killer is an old flame, who called police himself and left a note.

Only CBS 2 was there Wednesday night as NYPD officers searched a Bronx apartment building for clues to a killing.

1010 WINS’ John Montone reports

Rita Morelli, 36, who attended Hunter College, was found strangled and stabbed last Wednesday in her apartment on East 120th Street in Harlem.

Sources have confirmed 41-year-old Bakary Camara is the prime suspect. He’s been formally charged with second degree murder.

Officers on the scene were tight lipped. Investigators combed through plastic storage drums looking for clues, but the big break came from a 911 call allegedly made by the suspect on Thanksgiving, saying: “By now you’ve found the body on East 120th. When you find my dead body, you will find a note in my pocket explaining everything.”

“I’m surprised because if it’s the guy that I think, he’s very nice,” one neighbor said.

Police sources said “the guy” is Camara, an old boyfriend of Morelli’s. He was traced from the 911 call to his apartment on Valentine Avenue.

Inside, he allegedly threatened officers with a knife, then stabbed himself, and had to be rushed to the hospital in critical condition and under police guard.

And sources said, as promised, there was a crumpled note in his pocket that referred to the murder on East 120th and the victim’s name, “Rita.”

Her co-workers at an Upper East Side restaurant spoke to CBS 2’s John Slattery shortly after the murder.

“It sounds like she was tricked into opening the door. I don’t think it was random. I think she knew who this person was,” Katie Dulub said.

Still unanswered is why. With the victim dead, and the suspect in the hospital, sources said investigators for now are treating this as a crime of passion.

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