Two minors questioned, released in stabbing death of Barnard freshman Tessa Majors, $2,500 reward for tips

Kimberly Dole
December 12, 2019 - 5:00 pm
Tessa Majors

Instagram/Tessa Majors

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NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- Two minors were questioned and released by the NYPD Thursday about the stabbing death a day earlier of 18-year-old Barnard College student Tessa Majors.

Both of the youths' guardians were present during the questioning, officials said. Police now say no one is in custody and no one has been charged. 

Police said they are looking to question a third person. 

Majors, who was a first-year student at Barnard, was discovered with multiple stab wounds in her stomach in Morningside Park Wednesday night, just blocks away from campus, police said.

Chief of Detectives Rodney Harrison said at a briefing on Thursday that the Virginia native was walking in Morningside Park near West 116th Street and Morningside Drive just before 7 p.m. Wednesday when she was accosted by an unknown number of people -- possibly one to three --and stabbed during a struggle.

She staggered to a nearby street, where she was spotted by a security guard who called 911, Harrison said. She was transported to Mount Sinai St. Luke’s Hospital, where she died. 

Her grandfather, Andrew Burton, told the Daily News she was `"a lovely, lovely girl -- very, very smart and sweet.''

A post shared by Tess (@tessmajors) on

Tess Majors
Instagram/TessMajors

Morningside park stabbing
John Montone - 1010 WINS

A knife was recovered at scene but it's unclear if its connected. Harrison said they have surveillance footage they are reviewing.

A $2,500 reward is now being offered for any information that leads to the arrest of the suspect(s) in connection to this fatal stabbing. 

Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said they will be increasing police presence on the campus.

Mayor Bill de Blasio said the city will send mental health professionals to talk to students.

Barnard’s president, Sian Leah Beilock sent out a campuswide letter that confirmed the events. "Tessa was just beginning her journey at Barnard and in life," Beilock wrote. "We mourn this devastating murder of an extraordinary young woman and member of our community."

A post shared by Tess (@tessmajors) on

Majors’ father, Inman Majors, a novelist and creative writing professor at James Madison University in Charlottesville, Va., and the teen’s mother, Christy Burton Majors, headed to New York City late Wednesday night, Beilock said.

Columbia University vice president for public safety James McShane said in a letter to students and staff that reports that a security booth was unattended were incorrect.

"It is important to note that the public safety officer assigned to the guard booth located at 116th Street and Morningside Drive was at his post last night when Tessa Majors emerged from the park, and he came to her aid immediately upon recognizing that she was injured," he wrote. "We understand that the media has reported that the guard booth was unattended but those reports are inaccurate.  Public Safety officers stationed at this location do not make rounds that cause them to leave their post."

 

 

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