Staten Island

Aide of NYC Man, 80, With ‘I Touch Little Girls' on Chest Is Charged With Murder

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The home health aide of a Staten Island man who was found dead with “I touch little girls” little on his chest has been taken into police custody on unrelated child abuse charges. NBC New York’s Checkey Beckford reports.

The home health aide of a murdered Staten Island man with the words “I touch little girls” written on his chest has been arrested and charged months after the 80-year-old's body was discovered.

Police on Monday charged 28-year-old Rene Ayarde with murder, manslaughter and assault in connection to the July 19, 2021, death of Robert Raynor. Ayarde's motive remains unclear and authorities didn't provide other new details in the case.

A spokesperson for the Office of Chief Medical Examiner had said that Raynor died from blunt trauma to his head and torso, ruling his death a homicide. Aside from the disturbing message scrawled on his chest, Raynor had the words "I touch" written on one foot, police sources said.

Ayarde lived with Raynor, according to a law enforcement source with knowledge of the investigation, and she was charged with child abuse following Raynor's death for allegedly beating her 3-year-old daughter. Police didn't say she was a suspect in Raynor's killing until her arrest on Monday.

According to Ayarde's criminal complaint in her July arrest, witnesses saw her "pick up a young child and drop the child to the concrete" and "throw a full water bottle at the child's face."

When someone attempted to call for help, Ayarde allegedly said "are you calling the police? Give me your phone" before knocking the witness to the ground. When police arrived, they saw bruising to the young girl's neck as well as old injuries to her knees, face and cheek, all in various states of healing.

Her daughter told police: "I was outside and mommy threw me on the floor."

All of this occurred just as police began to comb over evidence in Raynor's murder. Police have said Raynor has no history of sex crime and he wasn't a registered sex offender. His daughter has also defended him, telling the NY Daily News that he could never molest children.

Police are looking for whoever killed a man in a Staten Island hallway. Phil Lipof reports.