Sources told CBS 2 that Gregory Velez is known to the family.

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Police say they are questioning a man wanted for the murder of an East Harlem grandmother.

Gregory Velez, 35, was taken into custody and is being questioned regarding Tuesday’s killing of 73-year-old Julia Hernandez. She was found tied up with a bag over her head and was possibly suffocated inside her Wagner Houses apartment on East 120th Street around 7:30 p.m. Tuesday by her daughter Jeanette Hernandez , police said.

“Just seeing my mother lying there helpless, trying to think what was her last thoughts,” the victim’s daughter, Jeanette, told CBS 2’s Ann Mercogliano. “I know she had to have been afraid, but I hope whatever happened, happened quickly and she didn’t suffer much.”

Julia Hernandez (credit: CBS 2)

Family members believe Hernandez was killed possibly over a flat screen TV and jewelry, items they claim are missing. Sources told CBS 2 that Velez is known to the family, has a drug record and may have stolen the victim’s TV to buy more drugs.

“I was just horrified to see her lying there, her face wrapped,” said Jeanette. “They had suffocated her and she was tied up.”

Julia Hernandez seemed worried on the phone just hours before her killing, according to Jeanette.

“She had called me and told me that someone in the building told her there was a suspicious character in the building,” she said.

When she went to check on her mom, that’s when Jeanette says she found her lifeless body.

“I told her be careful. That was the last time I spoke to her,” said Jeanette.

“Whoever killed her, you’re going to get it and we’re going to find you,” vowed her other daughter, Elaine.

Julia Hernandez was a grandmother of four and mother of two.

Please leave a comment below…

Comments (18)
  1. Gladys says:

    Who is the ANIMAL that did this to my aunt?

  2. JOHNNY ROSADO says:

    She was my friend,i can believe that she die like that.she was always a happy peson.God hope my friend is wiyh you.RIP JULIA

    1. Anthony says:


      iI am a student at Columbia University and am following this story. I would love to interview you to learn more about Julia. Would have time to speak to me? Please email me at of you can.

      Thank you,


  3. . says:


  4. Brenda Cadiz says:

    RIP you were an Angel. I never met you but from what I hear you resemble my mom. Loving, caring and loved. RIP my prayers are with this family

  5. Yolanda says:

    Jule, you may be gone, but you will never be forgotten. I am so happy to have met you and shared good times with you. My prayers to the family.

    1. Anthony says:


      iI am a student at Columbia University and am following this story. I would love to interview you to learn more about Julia. Would have time to speak to me? Please email me at of you can.

      Thank you,


  6. Dolores Bailey says:

    My prays are with her family for their great lost I will never forget her she was a wonderful human being I’m so proud and happy that I got a chance to meet her this life time.she was a loving person rest in peace Julie

  7. WF says:

    Kill him with drugs!

  8. cynon says:

    Karma is real, no escaping it. I believe the coward(s) will get everything deserved. Good Luck people, be safe and always remain aware. May God and Angels be with the Hernandez family during this unbelievable time of sadness. R.I. P. Ms. Julia Hernandez and to allow your soul to rest from this awful crime committed against you.

  9. Johnny Handsome says:

    A damn shame. Gregory Velez, turn yourself in. Please.

  10. Brightstar says:

    Julia i love you and going to miss you… they are going to find this low life coward, i pray the the Lord will convict him.

  11. Elizabeth Martinez says:

    hope they find the cowards that did this my prayers are with the family u will be missed julie RIP

  12. ERASM RIVERA JR. says:


    OCTOBER 26, AT 10;17 AM

  13. Liberals are Evil says:

    Poor old lady…please find the miserable POS maggot that this. Then give me 10 minutes with this low form of life. I’ll have my metal baseball bat with me.

    1. Johnny Handsome says:

      Use your hands coward.

  14. luvenlust says:

    man oh man
    they better be lucky that aint my granny cause illl kick their azzes
    RIP lady u didnt deserve to die like that
    she was 73…what in the heck could she have done to die like that

  15. Att. Hoar says:


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