A woman who was found dead inside a SoHo hotel room in Lower Manhattan with a bloody iron next to her has been identified as 38-year-old Denisse Oleas-Arancibia, a Queens mother. She had been beaten and strangled. Her body was discovered on the floor under a blanket by a hotel maid last Thursday, February 8.
Oleas-Arancibia was a Jackson Heights resident and had been staying at the hotel for many days. A spokesperson for the NYC Office of Chief Medical Examiner told New York Post that her manner of death was officially determined to be homicide. Her cause of death was compression of the neck and blunt force trauma.
Arrests in the case have yet to be made, the New York Police Department has said. Oleas-Arancibia’s son Edwin Cevallos, 18, said that a week before the murder, his mother had appeared nervous. After moving from Ecuador to the Big Apple, she lived there with her son and a young nephew. Her parents and younger son lived in South America, the Daily News reported.
“In the week [before], she was like, sad. She was so nervous, and she was worried,'” Cevallos said.
“I am in shock. I can’t believe this happened. This is surprising,” Cevallos added, “Everything here in New York reminds me of her. Everything.”
He added that his mother “worked very hard” and was “always working for us to give us the best life in this country.”
Cevallos waited for his mother to come home on Thursday. When she did not, he called the police, who came to his house and delivered the tragic news.
“She wanted a better life because in Ecuador is a lot of bad people. It was so dangerous,’ Cevallos said. “She gave us the life that we always wanted.’
The day before she was found dead, Oleas-Arancibia made breakfast for her son and gave him some money for a haircut. “Goodbye, I love you,” he told him as he left for school.
“I want (people to know) that she was always helping people. She was a very good person. She never hurt anybody. She was always paying for everything. She never owed money to anybody. She was always looking to help them move forward,” Cevallos said.