NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Authorities announced an arrest Saturday in the stabbing death of a Barnard College student.
Tessa Majors, 18, was stabbed multiple times in Morningside Park on Dec. 11.
Police said they arrested 14-year-old Rashaun Weaver at the Taft Houses at 113th Street and Fifth Avenue at 10:30 p.m. Friday.
Web Extra: Read The Complaint (.pdf)
Weaver faces second degree murder, including felony murder and intentional murder, and robbery charges. He will be tried in criminal court and is being charged as an adult.
“Sadly, it can not bring back this young woman. This student. This victim. That is something even the best, most impartial investigation simply can not do. What we can do is say that we are confident that we have the person in custody who stabbed her, and that person will face justice in a court of law,” NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea said.
Majors played in a rock band and friends say she was considering a career in journalism.
“This arrest is a major milestone on the path to justice for Tessa Majors,” said Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance, Jr. “And our journey to reach that milestone today was not a sprint, but rather, it was a painstaking, deliberate and meticulous search for the truth.”
Police confirm the Majors family is aware of these developments.
“The killing of 18-year-old Tessa Majors was a heartbreaking tragedy that brought unimaginable loss to her family and friends,” Vance said.
Vance said the criminal complaint paints “a gruesome picture of what this young woman endured in her final moments. As alleged, some of the last words she was known to have said was ‘Help me, I’m being robbed.'”
After she was stabbed, Majors staggered up a flight of stairs to street level. There is now a memorial with flowers and candles on the sidewalk.
Court documents detailed Majors’ desperate struggle as she clawed at and even bit one of her attackers. Investigators say DNA evidence taken from under her fingernails provided crucial in incriminating Weaver. Vance also mentioned “video evidence, the blood evidence, the smart phone evidence, the iCloud evidence, the witness identification and the defendant’s own statements.”
Weaver had previously been sought by police but didn’t show up for a pre-arranged meeting. Investigators say Weaver dodged them for weeks, possibly with the help, but at this time, it’s unknown if anyone else will face charges related to that.
Following Friday’s arrest, Weaver was remanded into custody and will be arraigned on Feb. 19. He is being held at a juvenile detention center.
Weaver will turn 15 in about two months, authorities said.
Police previously arrested a 13-year-old, who they say admitted to being in the park with two other teenagers. The 13-year-old says he was not the person who stabbed Majors.
The 13-year-old’s case is being heard in family court.
Police are still actively searching for a third suspect who was also seen on surveillance video.
Anyone with information about the case is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or 1-888-57-PISTA (74782) for Spanish. You can also submit a tip via the Crime Stoppers website, by tweeting @NYPDTips or by texting 274637.