NYPD Admits Failure To Notify Family Of Homeless Man Murdered In Harlem

June 1, 2017

The NYPD has acknowledged that it erred in failing to notify the family of a murdered homeless man he was dead for more than a week, the Daily News has learned.

Villard Joseph, 44, was stabbed to death May 12 in a room at the state-funded Cecil Ivory House transitional housing facility on W. 132nd St. in Harlem. Cops arrested his roommate Devon Chrystie, a schizophrenic who slashed his own throat after stabbing Joseph.

Chrystie was arraigned on murder charges at Bellevue Hospital Wednesday, where he is still recuperating from his self-inflicted wounds.

Joseph’s family did not find out he was dead until May 18, 2017, when his mother Frances Joseph, 72, read an article in The News naming him.


Detectives in the 32nd Precinct were responsible for notifying the family.

“There was an internal communications error, where detectives believed the family had been notified,” NYPD spokesman J. Peter Donald said. “The Detective Borough Chief is aware of the error and is addressing it with the squad to ensure it does not happen again.”

Joseph’s family is furious about the oversight.


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“It is troubling, but it’s very rare,” Mayor de Blasio said Wednesday. “Obviously, God forbid something like this occurs, but then the NYPD comes in to investigate and typically there’s a pretty tight protocol about how to find family members particularly before the information is made public so I’m surprised that happened. I don’t want that to ever happen to any family and my condolences to them for sure.”

Joseph’s sister Terri Davis, 48, is upset about the failure of security in the BRC-run facility to confiscate several knives later found in the room where Chrystie and Joseph lived.

Read the entire article here.

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