A 2001 Riverhead High School graduate has been charged with murder in connection with the stabbing death of his girlfriend — the mother of his two children — in upstate New York, according to state police.
Stephen Schumejda, 31, was arrested Monday after police discovered the body of 44-year-old Amy Bradstreet at the home they shared in Cazenovia, N.Y., a town about 17 miles southeast of Syracuse.
Mr. Schumejda also owns a home on Old Farm Road in Riverhead and Ms. Bradstreet owned a property in Sylvan Avenue in Flanders.
The victim’s sister, Jennifer Bradstreet, said Amy was “an amazing person with an amazing family.”
“This was a tragedy and that’s all it was,” she said, asking for privacy for her family.
State Trooper Jack Keller said Mr. Schumejda had fled to his mother’s house in Delaware County with the couple’s two sons, aged 3 1/2 and 18 months, after the killing.
Mr. Schumejda’s mother called police after her son arrived, Trooper Keller said.
Mr. Schumejda was charged with second-degree murder, felony assault and misdemeanor criminal possession of a weapon. He was arraigned in the Town of Cazenovia Court Monday and is being held on $250,000 cash bail, state police said.
Mr. Schumejda allegedly used a knife to stab Ms. Bradstreet “several times in the face, neck and body,” according to a criminal complaint filed in Cazenovia town court.
Police said an autopsy would be completed sometime Wednesday.
A bouquet of flowers and candles were left on cinder block steps outside Ms. Bradstreet’s Flanders home at the end of Sylvan Avenue Wednesday afternoon.
Neighbors said the house was damaged during Hurricane Sandy and has been vacant ever since.
At 7:30 p.m. Wednesday a candlelight vigil will be held at the end of the street near the water, a neighbor said.
“I am stunned,” said Bill Reller, who lives across the street from Ms. Bradstreet’s former home. “What a nice family. That’s what makes it so hard to understand.”
Another neighbor, who declined to give his name, said Ms. Bradstreet enjoyed paddle boarding in the bay near her home. He said she was a caring neighbor who would share her belongings or drop by with food.
“They were good neighbors,” he said. “I loved playing with their kids. She was a model mother.”
A couple who rents the house Mr. Schumejda owns in Riverhead said they were saddened by the news. The man — who did not give his name — said he has been friends with Mr. Schumejda for more than 25 years.
“[Stephen] truly is a great person,” he said. “We’re really saddened by this and hope that his family is OK. It’s an unfortunate incident.”
Caption: Police say Amy Bradstreet, pictured here, was killed in the home she shared with a former Riverhead High School graduate. (Credit: Facebook)