Officers found the body of 20-year-old Savannah Rivera early Saturday with her head nearly-decapitated and her fingers severed.
Rivera's friend, Angela Valle, 21, suffered a life-threatening blade chop to the back of her head, along with gashes to her chest, arms, stomach and throat. Valle managed to call for an Uber outside the housing complex, the police said.
Police also found a 4-year-old girl unharmed in a rear bedroom, who is reportedly the daughter of Valle. The child was taken to Woodhull Medical and Mental Health Center.
“We believe this incident was not random,” NYPD Deputy Chief Michael Kemper said. “We believe the victims knew their assailant.”
“This was a brutal, a terrible, vicious, vicious attack. Both victims suffered multiple deep, deep lacerations,” Kemper added.
Police recovered an ax covered in blood from a trash compactor in the housing development, however, it was not clear if it was used by the attacker, who was later identified as Jerry Brown, 34, the surviving woman’s ex-boyfriend.
Brown was arrested in Manhattan in the afternoon and charged with murder, attempted murder and weapons possession.