Suspect Faces Murder Charges in SoHo Hotel Slaying of Queens Mother

Rachel Acenas
By Rachel Acenas
April 5, 2024News
Suspect Faces Murder Charges in SoHo Hotel Slaying of Queens Mother
Raad Almansoori listens during a court hearing in Maricopa County Superior Court in Phoenix on Feb. 26, 2024. (Mark Henle, The Arizona Republic via AP)

A suspect has been charged in the murder of a Queens mother who was found strangled and brutally bludgeoned to death with an iron inside a Manhattan hotel room.

New York prosecutors announced the indictment of Raad Almansoori, 26, for the murder of 38-year-old Denisse Oleas-Arancibia on Feb. 8.

“With this indictment, we are one step closer to securing justice for Denisse Oleas-Arancibia,” said District Attorney Alvin Bragg in a statement on Friday.

A maid at the SoHo 54 Hotel in Lower Manhattan found the woman’s body under a blanket. A broken, bloody iron was found next to her body.

Ms. Oleas-Arancibia was staying at the hotel on Watts Street near Sixth Avenue in New York City for several days. Authorities said an argument erupted between the victim and suspect about how long he would stay in the hotel room.

Hotel surveillance footage later released by the NYPD captured the suspect leaving the scene wearing the victim’s leggings. His own blood-stained pants were found near her body.

Mr. Almansoori continued on a crime spree and was later arrested in Arizona for separate stabbings of two women. He confessed to authorities that he was on the run after murdering a woman in New York. He also said that he met Ms. Oleas-Arancibian through an online website and arranged to meet-up at the hotel. Mr. Almansoori even told police to “Google Soho 54 hotel.”

The New York DA sought to have the suspect extradited to New York to face charges, but prosecutors in Maricopa County pushed to proceed with the Arizona cases first. Mr. Bragg said his office plans to formally request that New York Gov. Kathy Hochul requisition a warrant from the Arizona governor, which would act as a detainer for the suspect.

“Based on the Office’s analysis of New York and Arizona state law, and a thorough review of the facts and evidence available to us in both jurisdictions, we expect the warrant will act as a detainer, and [Mr. Almansoori] will remain in custody until he returns to New York for prosecution on the murder indictment after the Arizona case concludes, regardless of the outcome in that case,” Mr. Bragg said in a statement.

Mr. Almansoori pleaded not guilty to attempted murder and other felony charges related to the Arizona stabbings.

Ms. Oleas-Arancibia’s death was ruled a homicide. The cause of death was determined as compression of the neck and blunt head trauma.

According to her family, Ms. Oleas-Arancibia immigrated five years ago from Ecuador to the United States in hopes of a better life. She worked hard to provide for her family, however, loved ones said that they were unclear about what she did for a living.

“Denisse was a mother full of so much life and opportunity who leaves behind two sons who now have to go on without their loving mom,” a GoFundMe Page says. “Denisse’s life was taken away too soon and her boys are struggling with the events surrounding this loss and are in need of any and all support.”

The suspect has been charged with first-degree murder, second-degree murder, and robbery.

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