Volume 20 Issue 18 | September 14 - 20, 2007

Downtown Express photo by Jefferson Siegel

Medical Examiner’s Office workers removed the murder victim’s body from 31 Crosby St. last Wednesday night.

Boyfriend arrested in Soho woman’s stabbing murder

By Lincoln Anderson

On Wed., Sept. 5, the body of a woman whom police identified as Denise Deperrie, 36, was found with two stab wounds by her roommate after he noticed a strange smell coming from her bedroom inside an apartment at 31 Crosby St., police said.

On Sept. 7, police arrested the victim’s boyfriend, Juan Rios, at a Brooklyn hospital. Rios, 40, had checked himself into the hospital the day before his arrest, stating, “I did a bad thing,” the Daily News reported. The News reported that Deperrie and Rios had met at a methadone clinic.

According to Newsday, Rios attacked Deperrie with a samurai sword, slashing her legs and face, on July 30 when she told him to get an AIDS test; he also fractured her nose. According to reports, Rios had been in jail after the attack, but was released in August because Deperrie did not testify against him in time.

Residents in the Crosby St. apartment building said they had noticed a stench coming from the apartment. Her roommate, who is not a suspect, went into Deperrie’s room and found her body. In June 2006, the roommate found, in the same apartment, the body of a woman who had fatally OD’d. No criminality was involved in the prior death and the roommate is not a suspect in either death. According to the New York Sun, the roommate is the son of the building’s superintendent. Rios was being held pending a court appearance this week.

While the west side of the Soho block is populated by celebrities and corporate types living in a renovated loft building at No. 30, No. 31 is still an old-style tenement from back in Soho’s early days as an artists colony, neighbors said. Rocker Lenny Kravitz lives in No. 30, as does the head of Getty Images. It’s a safe block, residents said. The last time anything rocked the street was a few years ago when musician Courtney Love had a meltdown at No. 30 and tossed bottles out onto the street.

“There’s a huge amount of young people here now. Many of them work on Wall St.,” said Bill Rabinovitch, a neighbor. “You have to have major money.”

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