A New Jersey man who smoked a combination of pot and PCP has been arrested and charged with slitting the throats of a 6-year-old boy and his 12-year-old sister who is in critical condition, according to authorities.
The wounded girl was able to give police a tip that led them to her alleged attacker. It is the second time in recent weeks that the hallucinatory drug combo, known as “wet,” has been implicated in the grisly murder of a child in the crime ridden city of Camden, N.J.
At around 2.am. on Sunday, a bloody 12-year-old girl fled her home after being attacked. She ran door-to-door banging on neighbors’ doors until Nakyta McCray answered the door and called 911. “I saw her standing there with her throat cut open and barely breathing,” McCray tearfully told ABC News’ Philadelphia affiliate WPVI.
“The older sister kept crying that the other two little kids were in the house,” McCray said. “So I went down there to try to get the two little kids, but I saw a whole bunch of blood, called for an officer and he walked in the house and said there was another victim.”
The wounded girl’s 6-year-old brother was discovered dead inside. His throat had also been slit, the prosecutor’s office said. The little boy was identified as Dominick Andujar. The girl has not been identified and is in critical condition at Cooper Hospital, prosecutor’s said.
WPVI reported that Sunday was the girl’s 12th birthday. Two other siblings were in the house, including a 14-year-old, but they were not injured. The children’s mother was in the hospital recovering from a recent surgery, according to WPVI.
Osvaldo Rivera, 31, was charged with murder and attempted murder today. He was arrested on Sunday when police found him hiding between a mattress and a bedroom wall at an apartment about five miles from the girl’s house.
“Police also found blood-stained sneakers that matched bloody footprints in the home on Ware Street,” where the girl lived, according to the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office. The 12-year-old girl identified her attacker to authorities as “what sounded like ‘Poppy,'” officials said.
Rivera lived in the area and went by the nickname, “Popeye,” authorities said. “Several citizens came forward and showed the courage to provide information, which helped lead to the initial apprehension,” Camden County Prosecutor’s Office Lt. Frank Falco said in a statement.
During an interview with investigators, Rivera “stated that he has smoked ‘wet,’ a combination of marijuana and PCP, prior to the killing,” prosecutors said.
“In recent years there have been several other murders in which wet appeared to have played a part,” prosecutors said in a statement. “This drug has a particularly catastrophic effect on people, making them incoherent, hallucinatory and, in come cases, violent.”
Prosecutors said that the attack on Dominick and his sister is the second time there appears to be a connection between the drug and the killing of a child in the city of Camden.
Authorities believe Chevonne Thomas was smoking wet before beheading her 2-year-old son Zahree on Aug. 22 in Camden. Thomas had a history of substance abuse and mental health disorders, according to the Department of Children and Families.
The prosecutor’s office and the Camden Police Department said they are “concerned” with the use of the drug in the city said they will be “taking steps to curb the market for this exceedingly dangerous and destructive drug.” Rivera is expected to make his first court appearance at an arraignment on Tuesday.