HARTFORD -- Less than two hours after the ball dropped in New York, marking the start of a new year, the Hartford Police Department was responding to a report of a woman stabbed over 30 times and a child who had been abducted.
2019’s first major investigation for HPD would cover multiple states. HPD Lieutenant Paul Cicero described how it started.
“Police received several 911 calls in regards to a female victim covered in blood yelling and banging on doors in the area of 77 Natick Street," said Lieutenant Paul Cicero as he described the initial response.
Upon arriving to the area, HPD found a woman who had been in a domestic violence assault and stabbed over 30 times. But according to Lt. Cicero, the incident resulted in another potential victim not present at the first scene.
“It was also discovered during the course of the investigation that the victim's six-year-old child was in the car at the time of the assaults," Cicero remarked. "Unfortunately, the suspect fled and... took the victim's six-year-old child.”
As police in Hartford searched the city, they additionally notified surrounding police departments to be vigilant and watch out for the child. Just three-and-a-half hours later, the six-year-old was located in Worcester, Massachusetts, where he was brought to safety immediately thanks to a caring citizen who noticed him out walking the streets.
“At approximately 5:30 a.m., the Hartford police department was notified by the Worcester Police Department that they received a call of a wandering child in the area of Providence Street," continued Cicero. "Patrol officers there responded and located the child, as well as the vehicle that was fleeing the scene at the time of the assault in Hartford.”
With the child out of harm's way, police focused their efforts on the suspect, Edgar Manuel Maldonado. HPD Detectives worked through New Year’s Day and soon after obtained an arrest warrant for Maldonado. When detectives received a tip that the suspect was in New York, they reached out to the NYPD for assistance. HPD officials were notified of his capture just a short time later.
“This morning... the NYPD notified the Hartford Police Department that they located the suspect at a McDonald’s in Midtown north," Cicero said.
The suspect is being held in New York as he awaits extradition back to Connecticut. The female victim is in critical, but stable condition at Hartford Hospital, and the child is receiving care from DCF in Massachusetts until he can be reunited with his immediate family.