October 23, 2019
National Crime

New Castle murder suspect knew the victim

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A 29-year-old woman was killed at a Bear apartment complex Monday night. Police have ruled her death as a homicide. 11/7/17 John J. Jankowski Jr. & Damian Giletto

Police have charged a 25-year-old in the Monday night murder of a woman in New Castle.

As 29-year-old Anastasia Gear was walking through the parking lot of Castlebrook Apartments where she was visiting family, police said she was approached by Ricardo Mendez.

Police did not say why, but Mendez apparently stabbed Gear multiple times in the torso. Police said the two knew each other.

Patrol officers dispatched to the stabbing around 6:45 p.m. and Gear was taken to the hospital where she died from her wounds.

New Castle County Police detectives identified Mendez as a suspect, and later that night Delaware State Police contacted him at the McDonald’s on DuPont Highway, about two miles from the crime scene.

He was arrested for carrying a concealed deadly weapon, criminal impersonation, and disorderly conduct. County detectives charged him with first-degree murder and possession of a deadly weapon during the commission of a felony.

Mendez currently is being held at James T. Vaughn Correctional Center.

The Castlebrook Apartments declined to comment for this story. Their parent company, the Galman Group, did not return calls seeking comment.

Residents at the complex said Tuesday they live in a peaceful place and aren’t accustomed to violence breaking out there. Still, Bernard White said the killing hasn’t made him nervous.

“I know how to take care of myself, and my people who come here to visit me, they also know how,” said White, a retired Marine, and New York City police officer. “If I see something, I will back New Castle County Police. That’s my job. It’s in me.”

He arrived home Monday night to find the crime scene already in progress. Though he was curious, White said he didn’t go over to keep from interrupting officers at work.

“It wasn’t my business,” White said.

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