The fatal stabbing of an elderly two-time lottery winner in the Bronx in New York City has left the victim’s community grieving. Police responding to a 911 call found 73-year-old Owen Dillard with multiple stab wounds in his neck on Monday night.
Authorities were called to the victim’s apartment around 8:30 p.m. by the victim’s fiancée, who found him unconscious on the living room floor. Investigators pronounced Dillard dead on the scene.
Hunt for murder suspect
Dillard’s fiancée said she left the apartment at 8:30 a.m. on Monday to go to work, and returned 12 hours later to find her partner dead. Police have yet to give a motive or name a suspect, and no arrests have been made, but authorities are reportedly looking for a person of interest — an otherwise unidentified nephew who was seen leaving the victim’s apartment around the time of the murder.
The victim’s family says the nephew ran up gambling debts. Police showed a video to another one of the victim’s nephews, Shabazz Muhaymin, which showed two unknown men in hoodies enter the building with a bag.
“Video shows two individuals entering the lobby…and exiting about 20 to 25 minutes later with a book bag on their back, and the book bag seemed to be full,” Muhaymin said. “It wasn’t full when they entered the building.”
Dillard saw a stroke of luck six months ago when he won a $50,000 lottery drawing, and again with a $10,000 prize in April, Muhaymin said. He was reportedly a caring man who liked to gamble.
“My uncle was a sharing man, a giving man. He plays the lottery, gambles,” Muhaymin said. “A lot of people in this neighborhood know him — the neighborhood is now broken without him.”
Beloved by neighbors
Grief-stricken neighbors and relatives said Dillard was beloved in his Mott Haven community and known for acts of kindness. They recalled Dillard handing out money to kids and helping people with their bags and strollers.
“He sat right there by that store, and every kid that walked by, he gave money to randomly,” neighbor Michael Milliner said. “Just gave money. What kind of man does that?”
Muhaymin said his uncle was terminally ill and had been told by doctors recently that he only had months to live. His ex-wife, Yolanda Jordan, 61, said he was a good man and a trained chef who had taken ill with heart and liver problems.
“He was a good dad and he will be missed very much,” Jordan said. “He had a number of things — heart, liver. You know? Just trying to make it from one day to the next.”
This is a tragic story. Hopefully the police will find the killer soon so this community can find peace.