The estranged husband of a beloved NYCHA worker in East Harlem has been charged with her brutal stabbing to death.
Dwayne Street, 46, was charged with murder, assault and stalking in the killing of his wife, Lisa Epton, 45, on January 5, police said Sunday.
Police arrested Street at his home in Wagner Houses on E. 124th St. on Saturday, cops said, two months after he was identified as a person of interest.
Police officers initially circulated a wanted poster for Street stating that he was “wanted for questioning only” but should be “considered armed and dangerous” and “approached with caution”.
Unable to call her at home, Epton’s friends and family found her lifeless body, face down in the kitchen, stabbed in the torso, in her late mother’s apartment on E. 102nd Street near First Avenue. , where he was known to visit.
“We were trying to reach her all day, but she wasn’t responding, even to her children,” Taeya Clark, a close friend of Epton’s, told the Daily News. “We called her daughter and we just went. (Her daughter from her) found her on the ground.”
Epton still had the keys to her late mother’s apartment, which she sometimes used for family gatherings after her mother’s death in October, relatives said.
Street and Epton had been together for about 10 years but were currently separated, family members told News. Street lived with her mother in East Harlem.
On October 18, Street was arrested for criminal mischief by destroying two televisions during a fight inside Epton’s apartment a year earlier, police said Wednesday.
And a friend told the News that Street was stalking Epton. “He went to her work a week before and hanged her,” Ana Mayor said at a vigil for the victim in January.
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Epton had three grown children and worked for the New York City Housing Authority, friends said.
In a February 19 post on Facebook, her daughter, Destiny Ortega, wished her a happy birthday, saying, “Not having you here is so hard! I love you and miss you tremendously. Please visit me in my dreams again so I can feel your presence.”
A neighbor who spoke to the News after Epton’s murder described her as a devoted mother who decorated the common spaces on the floor of her apartment building for every major holiday.
“She thought it was important for the children,” the woman said. “Her spirit from her was contagious. She lived for the children.”
Street is being held on Rikers Island and is expected to be arraigned in Manhattan Supreme Court on Monday, authorities said.
One of Epton’s close friends celebrated his arrest in a Facebook post on Sunday.
“Now I hope you can rest in peace! I will always miss and love you!” she wrote. “The tears can’t stop thinking about all the times we shared together all the talks we would have!”