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DA: Suspect Charged In Murder Of Italian College Student Pleads Guilty

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) – The suspect charged in the 2011 rape and murder of an Italian college student whose body was found inside her East Harlem apartment has pleaded guilty, prosecutors announced Monday.

Bakary Camara, 42, pleaded guilty to all counts including murder, predatory sex assault and rape in connection with the death of 37-year-old Rita Morelli, prosecutors said.

On Nov. 23, 2011, Morelli was found murdered in her apartment on East 120th Street. Prosecutors said Camara entered the apartment, raped Morelli, stabbed her several times and then slashed her throat.

Prosecutors said Camara knew Morelli from work, but hadn’t seen her in months. What exactly motivated the killing is still unclear.

“This defendant will be spending significant time in prison for violently taking the life of an innocent college student,” District Attorney Cyrus Vance said in statement.

Morelli was attending Hunter College and worked at an Upper East Side restaurant. She came to New York from Italy five years before her death.

Camara’s sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 30.