New Cassel woman found dead inside home

A 24-year-old New Cassel woman was found dead in her home Thursday, allegedly after a dispute with her ex-boyfriend turned violent. Authorities say they had dealt with the young couple before. Police

News 12 Staff

Mar 20, 2009, 2:00 AM

Updated 5,593 days ago

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A 24-year-old New Cassel woman was found dead in her home Thursday, allegedly after a dispute with her ex-boyfriend turned violent.
Authorities say they had dealt with the young couple before.
Police rushed to the Grand Boulevard home around 1 p.m. and found the body of Joanna Bird on the steps leading up to her apartment. Police say she suffered multiple stab wounds and was put into an ambulance, but had already succumbed to her wounds.
Bird?s mother Sharon Dorsett says her daughter had called her for help earlier because her ex-boyfriend, Leonardo Valdez-Cruz, would not let her out of the house. Dorsett raced to the home, but when she got there no one answered the door so she called police.
Bird?s family says Valdez-Cruz had been trying to get back together with her since she broke up with him. They say he had a history of violence toward Bird.
In January, News 12 Long Island reported Valdez-Cruz allegedly tried to kidnap her. He was arrested after allegedly forcing her to drive him into town where he pulled out a gun. He threatened to kill her, dragged her by the hair and tried forcing her into the trunk, police say. He only stopped after she agreed not to break up with him.
"He is a deadbeat father,? Bird?s brother Roy says. ?He kept harassing her, kidnapping her and they let him go three times."
Bird?s mother says she knew he was trouble.
"She had an order of protection, but that's just a piece of paper,? Dorsett says.
The family says Valdez-Cruz was released from jail about six weeks ago and was at the home Wednesday threatening to kill her. Bird leaves behind two young children who she had with Valdez-Cruz.


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