Officials Moving Slowly In Mutilation Murder Case
Despite the fact that the mutilated body of a Staten Island man was found upstairs in an Arverne home nearly a week ago and it is apparent that the acts were committed by his stepdaughter, Brigitte Harris, she has yet to be interviewed by police, or have charges brought against her, according to official sources.
"This is still an ongoing investigation, and no charges have yet been brought," said a spokesperson for Queens District Attorney Richard Brown. Harris, 26, remains in a Staten Island mental health facility.
"We will interview her at the proper time and ascertain whether she will be arrested or not," said a spokesperson for the police department's Deputy Commissioner for Public Information.
Police officers from the 100 Precinct, responding to a 911 call of a man bleeding on the top floor of 436 Beach 69 Street at about 1:15 p.m. on July 28, made a gruesome discovery, the body of a bound and murdered man with his penis cut off.
Sources said that the man, later identified as Eric Goodridge, 55, was found with his hands handcuffed in front of him.
Detectives quickly began a search for Harris, who rented the upstairs apartment. Sources say that she was seen at the apartment shortly before the 911 call came in and law enforcement sources reportedly believe that she made the emergency call.
Cops investigating the murder recovered bloody scalpels at the scene and quickly caught up with Harris after she checked herself into the Bayley-Seton Hospital, and reportedly ranted to staff about the murder.
Sources say that Harris murdered Goodridge to exact revenge for alleged sexual abuse that began when she was a young girl.
Police say that a note found near the body said, "He wrecked my life. At first, I blamed myself, but now I know that it wasn't my fault."
On his website, Attorney Arthur A. Aidala, who represents Harris, wrote, "The Harris family is in crisis, and what they have been through is unthinkable: A father is molesting the daughters that he is obligated to protect. The pattern of abuse transpired over a generation and has left the surviving members to live with scars."
"As the evidence is revealed," Aidala continued, "it will show that the accused has been the victim of ongoing sexual abuse and rape that began when she was the age of three. Her oldest sister has been the victim of the same abuse."
Her sister, Carleen Goodridge, spoke to reporters at Aidala's office on Tuesday.
She said that she wanted to make up for her failure to help her sister earlier in their lives by speaking out.
She claimed that her father had molested her from the age of 4 until she was 12 and that he assaulted Harris from the age of 3 until she was 18.
"I went through the same darn thing as her and did nothing [to help her]," Goodridge told reporters. "She couldn't love anyone anymore. She was lost."
Goodridge said that Harris told her mother, who lives in their native Liberia, about the abuse when Harris was 18.
The girl's mother and pastor confronted the stepfather, who dismissed the allegations as lies.
"That was my opportunity, and I didn't speak up," Goodridge tearfully told reporters.
Friends said that Harris, who referred to herself as "Lady Vengeance" and the "Original Dark Angel" on her MySpace Webpage, was despondent and contemplating suicide.
She had reportedly cancelled her cable television service, bought surgical blades on E-Bay and stockpiled sleeping pills.
Police sources say that they have no evidence of sexual abuse, but believe that the murder and mutilation was motivated by revenge.
Aidala says that Harris will turn herself in "at the appropriate time."
"Brigitte is currently undergoing psychiatric evaluation and will voluntarily surrender to authorities at the appropriate time," he said in a prepared statement. "We are confident that the investigation being conducted by the New York City Police Department and the Queens District Attorney's office will exonerate our client."