Hamilton woman screams for help, gets stabbed to death in Trenton
Blood continued to spill onto capital city streets during this violent month of May as a woman was stabbed to death over the Memorial Day weekend.
Brenda Garzio, 48, of Hamilton, became Trenton’s eighth homicide victim of 2017 late Sunday night. She was screaming for help about 11:10 p.m. on the 900 block of South Broad Street and police quickly found her suffering from multiple stab wounds, officials said, adding the victim was pronounced dead at the scene.
A resident who lives near the murder site said he had heard the woman calling out for help late Sunday night.
“She was saying, ‘Help me! Help me!,’” the resident, who identified himself as Jose, said Monday morning as he was smoking a cigarette on his front porch. Jose was relaxing inside his house at the time of the incident. He said he looked out of his window upon hearing the woman’s loud screams but noted it was too dark for him to see anything. Minutes later, police arrived on the scene, he said, to investigate what turned out to be the city’s third slaying in three weeks.
The killing appears to have occurred in the alleyway space between 993 and 995 S. Broad Street. Police as of Monday evening have not announced any arrests in connection with the incident and did not have a suspect description. Officers investigated the incident overnight, and detectives returned to the scene later Monday morning to conduct further analysis.
Police received a 9-1-1 call concerning a female screaming for help around 11:10 p.m. Sunday, but a police spokesperson on Monday could not confirm whether the call was placed by the victim or a bystander who had heard the screams.
Residents who live on the 900 block of South Broad Street did not seem to know anything about the incident or the homicide victim Monday morning.
Jose has lived in the neighborhood since 2015 and said, “Everything is good,” adding, “I don’t know what happened yesterday.” He called the incident “crazy.”
Another neighborhood resident who was home at the time of the slaying said, “I didn’t hear anything,” adding, “I sleep like a log.”
The resident saw police conducting their crime scene investigation Monday morning but did not know what they were investigating, exactly. “They don’t tell you anything,” he said of the crime-scene detectives.
By 10 a.m. Monday, the 900 block of South Broad Street bustled with business as usual, as if a homicide had not occurred. Patrons at a local barbershop were getting their hair cut; customers at R&R Laundromat were washing loads of clothing.
Before becoming the city’s latest homicide victim, Brenda Garzio used to work as a secretary for the New Jersey Juvenile Justice Commission, according to her LinkedIn page.
After clocking in 25 years and 11 months of service, Garzio took an early retirement from her JJC central office job in August 2011 at age 43, according to state records. Her annual salary was $56,830.39, and in retirement she was collecting a $1,428.22 monthly pension allowance, records show.
Trenton Police and the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office on Monday had few details to release about the stabbing death. Anyone with information is urged to contact the Mercer County Homicide Task Force at (609) 989-6406 or the Trenton Crime Stoppers tip line at (609) 278-8477.
Trentonian staff writers Penny Ray and David Foster contributed to this report.