Woman killed in NYC apartment; man faces murder charges

A vigil was held Monday for Christina Yuna Lee, 35, outside her Lower East Side apartment building where she was stabbed to death a day earlier.

At around 4:30 a.m. on Sunday morning, the NYPD responded to a 911 call on Chrystie Street. When they arrived at the scene, they found a man barricaded inside a 6th-floor walkup apartment.

Emergency Service Unit personnel responded and were able to get into the apartment where they found Lee dead in the bathtub with trauma to her body.


Police say that Assamad Nash, 25, followed Lee into her building and then up to her apartment. When she opened the door he forced his way in and repeatedly stabbed her.  

Neighbors said they called 911 when they heard screams from Lee's apartment.

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Prosecutors say Nash was found hiding under the bed with a yellow-handled knife hidden behind the dresser.  He was taken into custody and was evaluated at Bellevue Hospital.  He had a stab wound to his torso and cuts on his hands and shoulders, according to prosecutors.

RELATED:  Who is Assamad Nash?

On Monday, Nash was arraigned on murder and burglary charges. In court, a prosecutor said Nash stabbed Lee more than 40 times.  She was found naked from the waist up.

Prosecutors say that Nash was out on supervised release on 3 open cases, including one where he allegedly punched a stranger on the subway.  They say he has an extensive record in New Jersey.

Officials including Mayor Eric Adams denounced Lee's killing as the latest in a string of unprovoked attacks on people of Asian descent.

"This is the definition of horrific," Mayor Eric Adams said in a tweet Sunday. "@NYPDNews is investigating this incident and we stand with our Asian community today."

"The suspect is in custody, but the conditions that created him remain," Adams continued. "The mission of this administration is clear: We won't let this violence go unchecked."

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The owner of the building, Brian Chin, said that Lee had just moved to New York City within the past year. 

"This is you know, as landlords we have a responsibility to protect tenants. I've done everything," Chin said. "As I said that door, it's solid steel, solid steel, double-walled steel that kept the SWAT team out for five minutes. We can't protect against monsters like this. No matter how much we invest, it comes down to our elected officials." 

Lee worked as a senior creative producer at Splice, an online platform for digital music. She was a graduate of Rutgers University and had previously worked for companies including Marriott and the shoe retailer Toms, according to her LinkedIn page.

On Monday the company tweeted:  "RIP our beautiful friend and colleague Christina Lee. 

The killing happened weeks after another woman of Asian descent, Michelle Alyssa Go, was killed by a man who pushed her in front of an oncoming subway train at the Times Square station.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.