The decomposing body of a reported domestic abuse victim was found in her Bronx apartment after the woman’s downstairs neighbor complained about maggots dropping from the ceiling.
Police found the decomposing remains of Ashley Ducille after the tenant below her told the building’s super that maggots were coming through her ceiling, the New York Daily News reported Sunday.
Ducille was found next to the body of a man believed to be her abusive boyfriend, the Daily News reported. Police believe Ducille died in a murder-suicide at the boyfriend’s hand.
The name of the boyfriend has not yet been released.
“She used to tell me, ‘Can you call me to see if I’m okay? Can you please call me? Can you please check up on me?'” Ernesto Garcia, the building’s superintendent, told the Daily News. The tenant who reported the maggots to Garcia on Saturday also told him that a week before, on Nov. 6, she had heard two gunshots from the apartment and a loud thud, the report added.
The Daily News reported that the police who responded to Garcia’s call were overwhelmed by a foul stench even before they opened the door to Ducille’s apartment. The ultimately found Ducille dead on the couch in the living room, and the man dead on the floor nearby.
A gun was found next to the man, the report said, citing unnamed sources.
Ducille was 29 years old, and the man found next to her was 40, according to the New York Post.
Ducille’s father told the Daily News that he was stunned by the news of his daughter’s death.
“The shock hasn’t hit me. It’s just crazy. It’s just devastation,” Anthony Ducille reportedly said. “She was a good mother. She loved her children.”
Ducille, who had four children, had previously expressed that she was afraid of her boyfriend.
“I would have to change the cylinder in the door constantly,” Garcia, the building superintendent, told the Daily News. “Every two weeks, changing the lock. She used to get mad at her boyfriend and used to take the keys away from him.”
But the boyfriend would find other ways to get in the residence, Garcia said, such as climbing the fire escape to Ducille’s window or standing outside her apartment door, the Daily News story went on.
Ducille had recently lost custody of her children, but they were with her on Halloween, according to her stepbrother Joseph Donald.
Donald had previously been concerned for the children’s safety, and had contacted Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) about two years ago.
“I organized a couple people, we went up and broke down the door and took the kids,” Donald reportedly said.
Ducille wasn’t there but her boyfriend was, Donald said.
“The place was a hellhole and we just took the children. … There was no food in the fridge, no food in the cupboards, nothing. Everywhere it was empty,” Donald said.
He reportedly explained to ACS officials that if the children lived with Ducille, they would be living in a home alongside rampant prostitution and drug use, the Daily News story said.
Donald said, however, that Ducille had potential. She once worked as an EMT, and most recently worked for SeniorCare in the Bronx, transporting patients between hospitals to nursing homes.
Garcia said the last time he saw Ducille, she told him she was terrified of her boyfriend.
“She was all bruised up,” Garcia reportedly said. “She was beat up. She told me he broke a bone in her back. Her hands were swollen. The police used to come here constantly. Every Saturday, they used to be here.”
But when they last spoke on the phone on Oct. 28, she sounded positive, according to Garcia.
“She sounded happy,” Garcia said. “She was laughing telling me she will give me a Christmas gift for putting the heat on.”
[Image via screengrab/WPIX]
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