A desire to avoid the consequences of pregnancy may have been the motive behind the grisly slaying and burning of a 14-year-old girl whose body was found on a Brooklyn beach in January, according to a family spokesman.
Christian Ferdinand, 20, of Limestone, Maine, was arrested on Thursday and charged with second-degree murder.
Brooklyn residents and other were shocked on Jan. 8 when the naked, burned body of Shaniesha Forbes was initially found in Gerritsen Beach near the border of Marine Park. Investigators also located a can of kerosene and signs of a bonfire nearby.
Ms. Forbes was a student at the Academy for Young Writers, a charter school originally located in Williamsburg that later moved to East New York. Tony Herbert, who described himself as a family spokesman and community advocate, said, “She left for school one morning, and that’s the last time anyone saw her until her body was discovered.”
Ellen Borakove, a spokeswoman for the NYC Medical Examiner’s Office, added that Ms. Forbes died of asphyxiation, or strangulation, and was burned later. She was identified by her dental records.
Herbert added that “We have heard that he may have killed her because he had gotten her pregnant. Her family didn’t know him — no one had seen him before.”
Indications were that Ms. Forbes and Ferdinand had met on the Internet, Detective Martin Speechley, a spokesman for the NYPD, told the Brooklyn Daily Eagle.
Ms. Forbes had lived with her mother and three sisters in Flatlands. Herbert told the Eagle the community has been very supportive.
“The family is very glad that someone has been arrested, but at the same time, very sad that their daughter had to be killed,” he added.