Wake held for slain New Cassel mom

Family and friends of a young New Cassel mother allegedly killed by her ex-boyfriend gathered to mourn at a wake Tuesday. Leonardo Valdez-Cruz was arrested for the murder of Joanna Bird a day after the

News 12 Staff

Mar 31, 2009, 10:45 PM

Updated 5,582 days ago

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Family and friends of a young New Cassel mother allegedly killed by her ex-boyfriend gathered to mourn at a wake Tuesday.
Leonardo Valdez-Cruz was arrested for the murder of Joanna Bird a day after the 24-year-old was found stabbed to death in her home. Bird?s family blames Nassau police and prosecutors for her death, claiming they could have apprehended Valdez-Cruz sooner, for harassing Bird and violating an order of protection.
Relatives say the day before Bird was killed Valdez-Cruz went to her home and threatened her. They say police responded to a 911 call from the home, but sent Valdez-Cruz away with a warning. Police aren?t commenting on any details of the case, not even answering if officers responded to the home. They only say an internal investigation is open and active.
Valdez-Cruz was also arrested in January for allegedly kidnapping Bird. The charges were dropped, according to the Nassau County District Attorney?s Office, because Bird would not testify before a grand jury. Relatives say she was too scared.
District Attorney Kathleen Rice?s office has denied News 12 Long Island?s request for a comment or interview.


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