(Reuters) - New York City police said on Saturday they had arrested a man suspected of fatally stabbing a homeless woman and her two infant children, one of whom was his daughter, at a hotel where they had been sheltering.
Michael Sykes, 23, of Brooklyn, was charged with three counts of first degree murder, as well as robbery, the NYPD said in a statement on Saturday night.
Rebecca Cutler, 26, and her three children ages 2, 1 and 4 months, were all found stabbed on Wednesday at a Ramada Inn on Staten Island, where the city had been putting them up in lieu of a shelter. Only the two-year-old survived the attack. Authorities said Sykes was the father of the youngest child.
"Thanks goes to the hard-working officers of the NYPD for bringing Mr. Sykes into custody," Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a statement, adding "I hope the family members of the young mother and her small children can find some amount of closure in knowing he has been apprehended."
Chief of Detectives for the New York City Police Department Robert Boyce said security cameras at the motel showed Sykes entering the room where the family had been staying. Sykes left the room a few minutes later and took a bus to a ferry that runs between Staten Island and Manhattan. Police believe he stabbed Cutler and the children before leaving.
Police said Sykes and Cutler had an argument on Tuesday and were seen at a delicatessen with the children early on Wednesday morning.
(Reporting by Chris Michaud; Editing by Michael Perry)