Alleged killer: Rough sex may have led to motel death

05/09/2011 2:49 PM |
BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | The swimming pool at the Budget Host, Riverhead, Riverside. Killing.

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | The swimming pool at the Budget Host Inn.

A sex romp gone wrong may have led to the death of a 53-year-old homeless woman at the Budget Host Inn in Riverside last week, according to a signed statement given by the man charged in her killing.

Cleaning staff discovered the lifeless body of Henrietta Sholl —  a woman said to live a life marred by drugs and alcohol — on a bed last Thursday at the trouble-plagued motel. The Suffolk County Medical Examiner’s office soon ruled the death a homicide. Two days later, Suffolk Police arrested 44-year-old Douglas Rico, who is also homeless, at police headquarters in Yaphank and charged him with second-degree manslaughter in connection with the death.

According to Mr. Rico’s statement to police, he may have caused Ms. Sholl’s death when he placed a pillow over her head while the pair was having sex.

“I had sex with Henrietta and put a pillow over her head,” the statement reads. “I must’ve made her stop breathing. I am sorry.”

Suffolk Police Chief of Homicide Lt. Gerard Pelkofsky said that soon after Ms. Sholl’s body was discovered, investigators found that Mr. Rico, who later admitted to knowing Ms. Sholl for the past three years, was the last person to see her alive.

Lt. Pelkofsky declined to say whether or not police saw surveillance footage of Mr. Rico leaving the scene, though signs advertising the presence of security cameras are posted on the motel’s doors. One guest told a reporter that those cameras feed clear images to a monitor located behind the motel’s front desk. Although Lt. Pelkofsky would not say where Mr. Rico was picked up, he noted that the suspect did not turn himself in.

On Saturday, with his feet cuffed together and a dingy white inside-out T-shirt on his back, Mr. Rico pleaded not guilty to charges at a court appearance in Southampton Town Justice Court. He stood wide-eyed as Southampton Justice Ed Burke sent him to the county jail without bail.

Dan Russo, Mr. Rico’s court-appointed attorney, had met his client only briefly before the arraignment.

“He was just saying it was an accident,” Mr. Russo said, adding that Mr. Rico could soon be indicted by a grand jury.
Last week’s arrest was not Mr. Rico’s first run-in with the law. Court records show he had been arrested on drug charges in Brooklyn last December. He is not due back in court on that matter until early next year.

Police said Mr. Rico had stayed at the Budget Host before, though it was not clear if he had rented the room where Ms. Sholl died.

Ms. Sholl had legal and personal problems of her own. She had been living in Mastic when she was arrested at the Kohl’s shopping center in nearby Shirley for shoplifting last November, according to police and her former landlord. She had been released from county jail April 14 after pleading guilty to petit larceny and serving a 90-day term.

Ms. Sholl was evicted from her home on Forestall Drive in Mastic after her arrest. The landlord, Rosemary Merrill, said she even had to get a restraining order to keep her former tenant away.

“She had problems,” Ms. Merrill told the News-Review Friday. “She drank too much. She did too much drugs, and so did everybody else around her.”

When asked why she had Ms. Sholl evicted, Ms. Merrill said, “She was just uncontrollable when she drinks.”

Ms. Sholl has a 27-year-old son who has been living in a group home in Elmont, the landlord said.

Ms. Merrill would not say how she had come to meet Ms. Sholl.

After her jail term, Ms. Sholl somehow found herself living at the Budget Host Inn. The motel, located near the Riverside traffic circle, is a frequent scene of police calls for robberies, assaults and drug-related incidents. At least one convicted sex offender is currently living there, according to the New York State Sex Offender Registry.

On Friday, less than a day after Ms. Sholl’s body was discovered, Southampton Town Police were at the motel again on an unrelated call.

A worker in the motel’s lobby, where a snarly English bulldog stares down incoming guests, declined to comment when asked about the woman’s death.

A female guest who has been staying at the motel with a boyfriend for the last few weeks said she didn’t know the victim. Still, she said, “I cried. I felt unsafe” upon hearing that someone had been killed there.

There are “a couple of girls that hang out here,” she added.

“This place was filled up with cop cars when we got here,” said a White Plains man who checked in last Thursday afternoon. “I heard somebody got killed. I didn’t ask any questions though.”

When asked if he was considering switching motels, the man, who gave his name only as Willie, said, “It doesn’t bother me none.
“I’ve been through worse.”

[email protected]

Additional reporting by staff writer Tim Gannon.



26 Comment

  • now you know why we have been so vocal about the kaplan ave market. we too had advertizements along with pictures and the sworn testimony of the last legal occupent of said market and still the village bldg insp. has done nothing!!! for 9 years now the market is now beyond any legal use that could support . as it is no longer preexsisting non conforming just nonconforming and under state law has absolutly zero legal use and can not now or then be given any variance what so ever period as the first main requirement to getting zba approvel is it can not be a SELF CREATED PROBLEM. any moron that buys it will in fact be createing a problem by buying a building with zero prospects of a legal use. this bldg hasnt had a leagal use for 11 years now ten years longer then state law allows so either we the people get rid of the 2 village employees abateli and wingate this will continue!!!

  • Kudos to Edward Donohue. Not so much Jerry Barkan, because although the sentiment to debate honestly is an honorable one, he goes on to completely misrepresent and mischaracterize the vast number of people who disagree with this administration’s policies. Despite the best efforts of most of the media to portray the tea partiers as racist, dumb, hostile, you name it, what actually motivates the huge number of people who joined it is limiting the size of our government, spending within our means and preserving individual liberty. We’ve seen how governments turn out when those things aren’t tended to. They are all-American ideals and since the left would lose any argument over them, all they can do is distort and mischaracterize.

  • Why do you continue to blame the building dept. employees, when you know all depts. and all employees take their lead from the mayor and VB. If you feel your needs are not being addressed, why not blame the people who are really at fault. The two employees you speak of are not elected, how do you propose “we the people” get rid of them, get a petition, write them a nasty letter, kill them? Instead of focusing your anger at these two people why not be angry at the people that choose to allow the village code to be ignored (selectively) just to pander to friends and special interest.

  • Thanks to RR for his comment

    >>… what actually motivates the huge number of people
    who join the tea party is:

    a. limiting the size of our government,
    b. spending within our means, and
    c. preserving individual liberty.

    They are all-American ideals and since the left would lose any argument over them, all they can do is distort and mischaracterize. << roger_rainey

    They are all-American ideals, but the argument over the way the Tea Party translates these ideals into actions is sound. Most Tea Party leaders do act like dumb, hostile racists.

    A. Limiting government does not mean limiting the purposes of government. Quality mustbe improved before quantity can be reduced.

    B. Our means includes wealthy and poor. Government spending should not be reduced at the expense of the poor.

    C. Individual liberty depends on common liberty. When the free will of one person is against the free choice of many people, the will of the one should be limited.

  • It never ceases to amaze me how some in our community roll over without even being pushed. The helicopter noise that we must contend with is not just a few months in duration, and is not just a few times a day. If I decided to live in Howard Beach, maybe I would except the fact of aircraft noise, but not here on the North Fork.

    Perhaps these same people who invade our skies with disruptive frequency, are the same ones from Wall Street who stole America’s dreams and life savings, who care little about who they hurt. Like Leona Helmsley ( the queen of mean) they will do what they want, when the want, and let the little people be dammed.

    Maybe we do have to much time on our hands as Mr. Conrardy contends, but maybe that is the point of living here instead of Queens, to enjoy the surroundings instead of being abused by them.

    You would give up everything to get nothing in return, how very nice of you, to give away our right of quiet enjoyment along with your own.

  • Helicopter noise shouldn’t even make the news on the eastern end of Long Island. Having now lived here a number of years and yes, have heard a few choppers pass by overhead. I wonder how many of those are military aircraft? I have a fair idea having paid attention to it over the years because I don’t understand what the hoopla is all about regarding the “noise”. Does it bother you when the military helicopters are flying? It actually is a reassuring sound. For the few (literally, it’s only a few) commercial/personal helicopters that are flying over head…the time is minimal and just like everything else…you have a choice. Let us worry about the things that matter most in our community and in our world right now. Helicopters are not one of them.

  • Please ask them to fly over your house then. Medical airlifts, military, police are one thing, for profit is another. Let them take another route.

  • They do fly over my house…I live on the East End as well, I do hear them occasionally…Maybe it’s because I am busy working or enjoying family and friends that I don’t notice it and/or it doesn’t bother me nearly as much as it does others. It has never disturbed my sleep, nor ruined an outing or evening for me and my family. The 30 seconds I hear the helicopters is about the same as when I have to stop conversing with someone because a car with an extremely loud radio goes by or a motorcycle convoy. There are just much more important things to get worked up over. Obviously we will agree to disagree.

  • Unfortunately, Big business runs the country NOT Big Government

  • True, but only because
    we the people do not support little business and participate in little government.

    It is not written in stone yet, but the current draft of the new economic chapter of Southold 2020 promotes economic expansion in the name of economic development. At the public hearings I talked about the meaning of economic development, the only response was blank stares.

    Not only does our future depend on our working together to protect ourselves, the quality of life and character of our local community in the present is also dependent on our caring and acting.

  • I would generally agree with people who say ignore the helicopters, as I’ve felt similar about the racetrack, which is only open for a few hours once a week for only a few months, and has been there forever. However, with the helicopters it is not just 30 seconds. It is 30 seconds, 15 minutes of silence, and more helicopter, sometimes from Thursday night depending on how “popular” the weekend is. And the helicopter noise is a relatively new thing. You can’t say “you MOVED where there are helicopters”. There is no reason they can’t fly over the ocean, the airport is on that side anyway. It’s a case of they don’t give a crap about anyone else, least of all those of us “yokels” on the North Fork.

  • I think town board meetings, only slightly less than school board meetings, are just about a useless place to express an opinion (especially the school board, where you’re talking to about 12 people, most of whom are on the board + a few parents who don’t want the after school badminton program cut or something). There have to be other ways to get out the word.

  • I see a project in the future…pack a tent and hang out in various places along the north and the south forks over the summer and see how much noise there really is…this is going to be fun!!! I am excited…I am always up for a challenge….

  • Town Board meetings should be where the local public interest is presented, considered, protected and promoted. There are other forums which are worthy of participating in, but Town Boards have power which can be used effectively or abused. It is amazing how many people watch Town Board Meetings on TV.

  • these 2 employees ave been lieing day in and day out about the kaplan market . they are the one responceable our board is made up of people who rely on thier opinion of what is legal and they lie to them they do not need the boards permission to do thier jobs plu if what u ay is true then they are obligated by law to report this and they do not the reason is its them not the board that holds that holds most of the cards. and one more thing kapell you arent fooling anyone your property is next

  • The old “more important things” argument is just a way of saying do nothing about anything. Maybe if we begin with those things we can change, we would have the skills necessary for those really big things you spoke of.

    I fought for many things in this community, that had no direct benefit to myself, other then helping residents in causes that had merit. You seem to think that just because it does not bother you personally it’s all OK. Perhaps you are working on those much bigger issues and cannot find time to lend support for the many others, that it does in fact, bother.

    While we can agree to disagree, one small thing that I think you might consider, a hearing test.

  • Your right and your wrong, but that’s ok. Your entitled to your opinion as am I. You can waste our politicians time and resources fighting helicopters. As Mr. Conrardy stated, we have wars going on, troops spread out all over the globe and a failing system that should be providing for those men and women when they come home. As a veteran myself, I know there are more important things to be worried about then helicopters.

  • Thanks for your service and that explains your hearing…LOL.

  • these 2 miscreants followed your lead kapell. not the new boards!!! they have lied to all involved. ee in this village if you cant get permiion to build something dont worry, build it anyway and then ask forgiveness the village will never go after you the market was ordered by the state to remove all nonlegal openings the owner didnt want to so he (again against code) built a plywood cover to make it look like it was removed. its yet another example of criminal intent by the owners and our two village idiots!!!!! then we get to the north wall where the cinder blocks were installed so badly and against any code are litteraly falling out into my yard along with his insulation (which this moron used in between the blocks as a replacement for morter the second floor was ordered remove or perminately walled off it was under non stop alterations since 2004 and yet it was never inspected. it has been on the market since, this for sale ploy was the original excuse for not prosocuteing the owner that morphed into its before the zba where it staid for 4 years he got a varience and promptly abandoned said varience and now its the excuse of the month for not going after this guy. so in short the village is now abeting a scam to defraud anyone that buys it because it has no legal use what so ever.

  • can anyone tell me why the village building inspecter is showing the market to prospective buyers???whats her connection?????

  • wstdbln isnt fooling anyone, its kapell the origional village exec to void all codes for the market besides if what you say is true then you just proved my point see they are obligated to report any and all violations including official misconduct see its either im right or you are either way my point is proven

  • Peggs, first and foremost, I am not former Mayor Kapell, second I was going to write to dispute your rambling reply but I fear you are just too far out there on this subject for anything I would say to matter. You have your opinion I have mine lets just leave it at that…without the name calling. I’ve signed my name to most of my posts and just thought most of the people that usually post here knew my screen name, if this has caused you a problem, sorry. John Saladino

  • the truth hurts there is no arguement againt me, i speak the truth if you bother to look into this you will see thi as the record speaks for itself and unfortunetly for you and and the 2 village miscreants the proof of my arguement is proven beyond all doubt like i said the record speaks for itself

  • sorry but your opinion that the world if flat is just as invalid as your so called opinion about abatelli and wingate your use of the term “my opinion” is a misleading statement especialy since you did not bother to check it out thus it can only prove you have a agenda to make falseifying legal records as OK prove me wrong i dare you please prove me wrong or crawl back under your flat rock to make it fair i should tell you the state has already agreed with me and i will never stop until this is made right period

  • “crawl back under your flat rock”

    So much for keeping things polite…

  • Seriously?! And they find that THIS architectural design is key to patients happiness? How about say….I don’t know..maybe spacious and courteous location of waiting areas, cleanliness, upkeep and condition of equipment, convenience and ease of parking access, conveniently laid out floor plans that allow for easy navigation of patients in finding their desired department without getting regularly lost and confused, properly placed nursing stations for optimum monitoring and care of patients, etc, etc. Guess those things are inconsequential because they could not have seen them in Stonybrook. And to be perfectly honest I have not come across many that find that building beautiful or inspiring in any way. Certainly not bright, inviting and comforting for a major hospital…more like dark, boxy, towering and sinister looking!