Police question, release teen sought in connection with Barnard College student’s killing

Posted at 2:20 PM, Dec 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-26 17:48:02-05

Authorities have released a teenager that investigators had been searching for in connection with the stabbing death of Barnard College freshman Tessa Majors, a law enforcement official said Thursday.

Authorities have located a teen that investigators were searching for in connection with the stabbing death of Barnard College freshman Tessa Majors, New York Police Department Chief of Detectives Rodney Harrison said in a tweet.

The boy had been located and taken to a precinct in Upper Manhattan, Rodney Harrison, the New York Police Department’s chief of detectives, said in a Thursday afternoon tweet.

His attorneys “were present for the entire investigative process,” Harrison wrote, adding in a later tweet that the boy was released to his attorneys and the investigation remains active.

The 14-year-old, whose name was not released, was found in the Bronx, according to a law enforcement official.

This comes days after NYPD officials released images of the boy and said he was “wanted for questioning” in connection with the killing of Majors.

Majors, 18, was walking in Manhattan’s Morningside Park near Barnard College on December 11 when she was attacked, Harrison said last week.

A 13-year-old boy from Manhattan was arrested a day after the stabbing. The teen was charged with second-degree murder, first-degree robbery and criminal possession of a weapon.

Last week in court, NYPD Det. Wilfredo Acevedo testified the 13-year-old boy told him he went to the park with two other people with the intention of robbing someone.

Related: 13-year-old arrested in New York fatal stabbing of college student from Charlottesville

The teen said that at some point before the attack, one of the other two people dropped a knife, and he picked it up and handed it back to them, Acevedo said.

The trio initially followed a man but targeted Majors, who refused to give up her property, Acevedo testified.

Surveillance video does not show the 13-year-old stabbing Majors or taking her property, the detective said.

An attorney for the teen argued his client was not aware that a robbery would be taking place.

A second teen, who police found and questioned, was taken into custody but later released, law enforcement officials have said.

Thursday, officials with Columbia University, which is affiliated with Barnard, reported an unspecified white supremacist group had targeted Barnard faculty and staff landlines with racist robocalls regarding the Majors case.

“The contents of this message, related to Tess Majors’ recent death, are abhorrent and viciously racist,” read a message from university leaders.

The messages seemed aimed primarily at Barnard College, though some Columbia employees may have received them as well, Columbia spokesman Scott Schnell told CNN. Students don’t have landlines, he said, so the caller didn’t make contact with students.