NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Police on Monday were searching for a man they believed stabbed his building superintendent to death in the Inwood section of Upper Manhattan this past weekend.
As CBS 2’s Janelle Burrell reported Monday, the body of Hipolito Perez, 57, was found in his apartment at 76 Vermilyea Ave., between Academy and 204th streets, just before 8 a.m. Sunday.
“It’s shocking,” said neighbor Albert Tache. “I mean, I just can’t believe it, still.”
Neighbors along Vermilyea Avenue were struck by a sense of helplessness and disbelief. They lit candles as they struggled to make sense of the brutal murder of their building superintendent.
Police stood guard outside the basement unit, where they said the well-liked 57-year-old Perez was found stabbed to death.
“Everybody in the building in shocked,” added Raymond Pena.
But what has the neighbors even more shaken is the man who may be responsible is their own neighbor – Elvido Soriano, 62.
Investigators said they have captured Soriano on video walking into Perez’s apartment. He is then seen walking out wearing different clothing, as he padlocks the door behind him.
Police said when officers got inside the building, it appeared that nothing had been taken.
Other tenants suspected that there may have been a dispute over Soriano’s rent.
“The guy didn’t pay the rent for at least one year,” Tache said.
“He wanted the guy to leave his apartment, and the guy did not want to leave,” added Pena.
Police as of Monday evening were scouring the area for Soriano. He was described as Hispanic, standing 5 feet 10 inches tall and weighing 165 pounds. He was last seen wearing a gray-hooded sweat shirt, blue jeans, dark sneakers, and a tan baseball cap.
Neighbors said Soriano did not have a job and would sometimes do odd jobs for money.
“He would help the super out; fix stuff in the building,” said Isaac Lugo.
Yards away from the murder scene, Perez’s minivan sat untouched. Neighbors were anxious for investigators to track Soriano down.
“The guy, he just disappeared,” Pena said.
As the search for the suspect continued, police said they were still working to pinpoint an exact motive as to what may have caused him to snap.
Neighbors said Perez lived alone, but had relatives on an upper floor of the building.
Check Out These Other Stories From CBSNewYork.com:
- Donated Violin Leads To Lifelong Bond Between Bronx Teen Holocaust Survivor
- Distraction Robberies On The Rise At Rego Park Mall, Police Warn Shoppers
- Teacher Becomes Lifesaver, Performs CPR When Queens 6th Grader Collapses
- Brooklyn Boy With Rare Allergy Wants Movie Theaters To Relax Outside Food Policy