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NYC man held in Israel over parents' deaths

Image: Eric Bellucci
Israeli police arrest Eric Bellucci, seen left, who flew to Israel after allegedly stabbing his parents to death in their New York home earlier this weekEric Sultan / AP
/ Source: NBC, msnbc.com and news services

An American suspected of stabbing his parents to death at their Staten Island home was arrested in Israel Friday as he tried to buy an airline ticket to China, NBC News reported.

Eric Bellucci, 30, arrived in Tel Aviv by air Thursday morning but was not detained at that time and had rented a car to travel locally, Israeli police told NBC News. 

According to Israeli authorities, the Williams College graduate tried to buy a ticket for a flight to China but his credit card was refused.

When he went to get cash, the saleswoman saw a news report about Bellucci's alleged involvement in his parents' deaths and called the police, NBC News reported. Police are questioning the suspect, who will remain in custody while Israel coordinates his extradition to the U.S.

New York's Daily News earlier reported that the "brilliant but troubled" Bellucci was believed to have taken a flight to Israel on Wednesday after stabbing his parents and leaving their bloodied bodies in their home in an affluent part of Staten Island.

Marion and Arthur Bellucci, 56 and 61 respectively, were found by the suspect's sister Vanessa, 25, the Daily News reported.

"She opened the door and saw blood on the floor in the foyer," the newspaper quoted the suspect's uncle Joe Ciervo as saying. "She knew something was bad in there. She didn't want to go in. She left right away and called 911."

Bellucci, who attended New York City's prestigious Stuyvesant High School and Massachusetts' Williams College, has been committed for mental observation twice and was diagnosed with schizophrenia, according to the Daily News.

In 2009, he grew violent against his family, the paper added.

"He's been having delusions," The New York Post quoted Ciervo as saying.

"There was an incident a year ago, last August, when Eric attacked Marian, and she had to lock herself in the bathroom she was so scared," the Daily News also quoted family friend Grace Piccione as saying.