A Colorado Springs man fled to New York after allegedly strangling his wife while their 5-year-old daughter fought with him to stop, an arrest affidavit filed last week shows.
William Cruz was arrested in Sag Harbor, N.Y., on Oct. 13 in connection with the death of his wife, Masany Cruz, 29.
William, 31, arrived in New York with his two children on Sept. 18, his mother, unidentified in court records, told police in an interview. The trio’s days leading up to their arrival, she told police, had been spent in hotel rooms in Pennsylvania and in rental cars, after a cross-country trip from Colorado.
William and his kids, he told his mother, needed a place to stay, and asked if they could live in a home she owned in Oceanside, N.Y. He and Masany, William told his mother, were parting ways, so William’s mother said she let the trio stay in the home, where they had dinners and tried to keep William’s mind off his heartbreak, according to the affidavit.
Relatives, coworkers and friends of Masany, however, were concerned, and asked Colorado Springs police to check on her the morning of Oct. 4.
They hadn’t heard her voice in weeks, they told police, even though they kept receiving texts from her phone and learned from her supervisor that she’d allegedly taken a leave of absence starting Sept. 13.
Family members also contacted North Plainfield, N.J., police, who tracked the phones of Masany and William to a Sag Harbor inn. There, Sag Harbor police found only William, who barricaded himself in the bathroom and told police he would hurt himself if officers tried to arrest him, according to the affidavit.
William argued with officers but eventually surrendered. During the standoff, Sag Harbor police informed Colorado Springs authorities, who had responded to William and Masany’s home, that they’d only found William, prompting police to break in the door of the two’s northeast Colorado Springs apartment, the affidavit stated.
Officers didn’t immediately find anyone inside, but as they moved from room to room, clearing the apartment, they found something covered by blankets laying on a children’s bed. When they approached and peeled the blankets back, they found Masany’s nude body laying face up, several weeks into the process of decomposition, the affidavit said.
Sag Harbor police applied for and received a search warrant to dig through the phones, among other devices, credit cards, and photographs, found in the inn with William. On Oct. 12, they found a photograph of Masany laying dead in the bed, on William's phone, according to the affidavit.
That morning, police also spoke with William’s 5-year-old daughter, also unidentified in court documents, at a child advocacy center in Riverhead, N.Y. about the days leading up to the family’s departure from Colorado.
There, using stuffed animals given to her by investigators to act out what she’d seen, she wrapped the hands of one of the dolls around the neck of the other, just as she’d seen her father allegedly strangle her mother. She said Masany clawed at William's face to get him off, and that the girl herself had tried to intervene by prying her father's hands away, the affidavit stated.
“I was taking Daddy’s hands off of her,” the girl told police, but her father ordered her to "get off" and go to her room with her dog, according to the affidavit.
The family left several days later, with William locking the apartment door for the last time on Sept. 15, according to digital key fob records, police alleged in the affidavit. The girl later told family members in New York that she wasn’t able to tell her mother goodbye before she left because Masany was “sleeping," the affidavit said.
When detectives asked him what Colorado Springs officers had found in his apartment, they said he immediately broke down, leaning forward and telling investigators that he was a “piece of s---” and didn’t “deserve to live.”
William was arrested in Masany’s murder on Oct. 13. He’s currently being held in New York, and faces first-degree murder charges in Colorado.