A Sunset Park man, who’d previously held his girlfriend captive, was arrested and charged with her murder on Monday. Alex Santiago, 44, fatally stabbed her then turned the blade on himself on Saturday, police and sources said.
The couple were taken by ambulance to Lutheran Medical Center, where Tara Beardsall, 31, was pronounced dead on arrival, police said. Santiago was in critical condition on Sunday, but was charged with second degree murder on Monday.
Officers found Beardsall outside her boyfriend’s 51st Street dwelling with a stab wound to the neck around 10.30 a.m. Saturday, police said. Santiago, her alleged assailant, was discovered inside with his throat cut.
“She was screaming when she ran out,” said Wilfredo Acosta, 57, a neighbor who saw Beardsall fall in the street and rushed to help. “I saw her wound and told her not to move. She was trying to speak but her throat was cut.”
Beardsall’s boyfriend had lived there for two years, and she had moved in two months ago, Acosta said.
Santiago held Beardsall against her will on December 22 last year, police said. He was arrested and charged with second degree unlawful imprisonment, court records show.
“They were always arguing,” Acosta said. “She would take off with a car service when they fought.”
Residents of this historically safe street were shocked by Saturday’s events.
“It’s the first murder on this block in 50 years,” said Ramon Acevedo, 57, a retired police sergeant who’s lived on the block since he was eight years old. A former NYPD detective owns the 51st Street building, he said.
“We had a lot of cops on this block, who kept the buildings clean,” Acevedo said. “This was a rarity.”
Other locals were scared and appalled by the gruesome sight.
“I saw the blood in the middle of the street and felt sick to my stomach,” said one neighbor, who asked to remain anonymous.
“It happened so close to home,” she said. “It was right there.”
EDIT (Sunday, April 7): a previous version of this article stated that Beardsall lived in a TriBeCa townhouse, based on an address provided by police. This appears to be incorrect.
UPDATE (Monday, April 8): This article was updated after police arrested and charged the suspect. It also includes details of a past arrest.