Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced today that Osvaldo Diaz, 46, has been indicted by a Queens County grand jury and arraigned in Supreme Court on murder charges and other crimes. The defendant allegedly stabbed and slashed his 78-year-old mother to death on February 24, 2021.
District Attorney Katz said, “The defendant allegedly attacked his mother with a machete – to the point of near-decapitation. This outburst of violence has devastated the victim’s family, which includes her other six children. The defendant fled the state but was apprehended and extradited to Queens.”
WANTED for HOMICIDE: Do you know where Osvaldo Diaz is? On 2/24, at 7:50 PM, inside of 218-44 Hillside Ave in Queens, Diaz is believed to have slashed a 78-year-old female victim who later succumbed to her injuries. Have info on his whereabouts? Call/DM @NYPDTips at 800-577-TIPS. pic.twitter.com/FoTarmUPRd
— NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) February 26, 2021
Diaz, of Hillside Avenue in Queens Village, was arraigned yesterday afternoon before Queens Supreme Court Justice Ushir Pandit-Durant on a three-count indictment. The defendant is charged with murder in the second degree and two counts of criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree. Justice Pandit-Durant ordered the defendant to return to Court on February 17, 2022. Diaz faces up to 25 years-to-life in prison, if convicted.
District Attorney Katz said that the defendant and his mother, Maria Diaz, lived together in an apartment above a beauty salon. On February 24, 2021, the defendant’s sister went to their home for a visit. The two women had previously planned to run some errands and take a walk. But when the sister of the defendant arrived and called Ms. Diaz on her cell phone the 78-year-old woman never answered despite numerous calls. Eventually, the defendant picked up and allegedly told his sister to go to the store.
According to the charges, when the sister left the building, the defendant was observed on video surveillance leaving the apartment. When the woman returned, no one responded to her calls. That’s when she summoned the property owner who permitted her into the apartment, where she discovered her mother’s body bleeding and wrapped in bedding. Mrs. Diaz was pronounced deceased at the scene.
The DA said the defendant was on the run for just over a week when he was apprehended in New Jersey. Diaz was returned to Queens yesterday to face charges.
The investigation was conducted by Detective Jason Roemer of the New York City Police Department’s 105 Detective Squad.
Assistant District Attorney Courtney Finnerty, of the District Attorney’s Homicide Bureau, is prosecuting the case under the supervision of Assistant District Attorneys Peter J. McCormack III and John Kosinski, Senior Deputy Bureau Chiefs, Karen Ross, Deputy Bureau Chief, and under the overall supervision of Executive Assistant District Attorney for Major Crimes Daniel A. Saunders.