Suspect arrested in double murder

Phil­adelphia po­lice have ar­res­ted a man they be­lieve strangled his girl­friend, stabbed her son to death and set their Wissi­nom­ing apart­ment on fire Sat­urday morn­ing.

Crim­in­al charges were pending against Car­los Rivera as the North­east Times went to press. Capt. James Clark of the Hom­icide Unit pre­vi­ously de­scribed Rivera, 25, as a “strong per­son of in­terest” in the slay­ings and sus­pec­ted ar­son. Rivera was also wanted for rob­bing the same girl­friend sev­er­al months ago, Clark said dur­ing a news con­fer­ence on Monday af­ter­noon.

The murder vic­tims were At­lanta De­veney, 35, of the 4600 block of How­ell St., and her son, Eli­jah Ros­ado, 12. Po­lice and fire­fight­ers ar­rived at the small apart­ment build­ing at about 8:50 a.m. and saw flames in a first-floor rear unit. After fire­fight­ers ex­tin­guished the blaze, po­lice found the two vic­tims in a closet un­der­neath a mat­tress.

De­veney had been choked and beaten to death, while Ros­ado had been stabbed mul­tiple times in the chest and neck, Clark said. Neigh­bors told po­lice they had heard a vi­ol­ent struggle shortly be­fore the fire.

“They heard a fe­male scream­ing, then they didn’t hear any­thing,” Clark said. “Then they smelled the smoke and the fire.”

Some bystand­ers tried to enter the build­ing to put out the flames, but Rivera al­legedly stood out­side di­vert­ing them and stat­ing, “I’ll handle it.”

“He was stat­ing to them that he would put it out him­self, which he nev­er did,” Clark said.

Rivera soon dis­ap­peared.

The couple had a “long­time ab­us­ive re­la­tion­ship,” Clark said, al­though they had ap­par­ently re­con­ciled long enough to move in­to the How­ell Street apart­ment just three days earli­er. ••

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