NYPD looking for third suspect in slaying of Tessa Majors

A 14-year-old boy who fled before he could be questioned by police is being pursued as a suspect in the stabbing.

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By Doha Madani

The NYPD is looking for a third teenage suspect in the slaying of Barnard College student Tessa Majors, who was killed during an armed robbery in a New York City park.

A 14-year-old boy who fled before he could be questioned by police is being pursued as a suspect in the fatal stabbing, NYPD Chief of Detectives Rodney Harrison said Thursday. Harrison also denied media reports that the teen had jumped out of a cab while trying to turn himself in and said there was nothing to support the claim.

The boy is one of three teenagers who police have connected to Majors' death, including a 13-year-old boy who was arrested and is in police custody.

Another 14-year-old boy was questioned and released by police.

The 13-year-old, whom NBC News is not naming because he is a juvenile, is facing second-degree murder, robbery and a weapons-related charge. Authorities believe he was one of three teens who were trying to rob Majors on Dec. 11 in Morningside Park.

When one of the teens put Majors in a chokehold and the others began rifling through her pockets, Majors fought back and bit one of the robbers' fingers, police said.

In the ensuing struggle, Majors was stabbed repeatedly in the torso, police said. She was able to stagger out of the park but died at a nearby hospital.

The NYPD claims it has found video that will serve as a key piece of evidence, but the 13-year-old's attorney argued the footage does not implicate her client.

"The evidence here is the opposite," Legal Aid lawyer Hannah Kaplan said Tuesday in court. "The only testimony connecting my client to anything related to Miss Majors' death and alleged robbery is that at some point my client picked up a knife and handed it to someone. That is refuted by the description of the surveillance video."

New York police Detective Wilfredo Acevedo testified the teen insisted during his interrogation that he did not know his friends were planning to rob Majors.