Harlem double murder suicide: Yonathan Tedla murders estranged wife, Jennifer Schlecht, slits throat of their five year old daughter, Abaynesh Schlecht Tedla, hangs self.
NYC authorities have told of a man decapitating his estranged wife, slitting the throat of their five-year-old daughter, then hanging himself in a suspected double murder suicide. Wednesday night’s bloodbath comes just hours after the woman trying to get an order of protection.
Identified as the deceased was 42 year old woman, Jennifer Schlecht, her estranged husband, Yonathan Tedla, 46, and their five-year-old daughter, Abaynesh Schlecht Tedla.
It is unclear how long the family had been dead before their bodies were discovered.
Estranged husband had threatened his wife ‘ruin’ if she moved forward with divorce proceedings:
Schlecht’s father, Kenneth Schlecht, 74, told the New York Daily News that his daughter’s marriage was unraveling, and that his son-in-law had threatened to ‘take them all out’ if Jennifer tried to serve him with divorce papers.
NY1 reported neighbors describing the couple and their young daughter as ‘the perfect family’.
Tedla was discovered in a bedroom, his wife in the bathroom, and their child in another bedroom, according to police. The mother and daughter both had neck trauma.
The New York Daily News citing unnamed sources, told of Schlecht being found decapitated, with her severed head resting in her lap.
Her daughter suffered a cut so deep to her neck that she was partially beheaded.
The five-year-old’s father was found hanging from a rope tied to a bedroom door.
Police recovered knife, believed to be the murder weapon.
Tedla and Schlecht were reportedly going through divorce proceedings and were due in court just hours before the gruesome slayings.
Schlecht’s brother contacted the authorities that evening, asking to check on his sister after failing to reach her by phone.
Kenneth Schlecht, Jennifer’s father, described his daughter going through untold trauma leading up to upcoming divorce proceedings.
‘She said her husband had indicated that if she served him with divorce papers he would ruin her or take them all out, which was apparently what he did,’ he said.
‘They were just a normal, every-day family,’
Schlecht and Tedla, an immigrant from Ethiopia, met in the early aughts at Columbia University, where she was attending graduate school and he was working as an IT technician.
According to her father, Jennifer and Yonathan’s previously happy marriage began coming apart at the seams when they welcomed their daughter five years ago.
Around the time Abaynesh turned two, Jennifer got an order of protection against her husband, but decided to stay with him because she did not want her daughter to grow up without a dad.
Jennifer’s father told how during a weekend phone call, Jennifer planning to go to court on Tuesday to get another protection order against Yonathan, only for the courts to be closed that day for Election Day.
Neighbors described Tedla to ABC 7 NY as a friendly and kind man who adored his wife and daughter.
The couple’s across-the-street neighbor Ruben Natal-San Miguel told the dailymail that he knew the family and saw the husband almost every other day.
‘They were just a normal, every-day family,’ he said, describing them as ‘lovely.’
Natal-San Miguel said he saw the parents taking their daughter out treat-or treating on Halloween and had their stoop decorated with spiderwebs for the holiday.
‘They were part of the community, they were involved with the block association,’ he said.
On West 121st Street in Harlem, Yonathan Tedla 46 beheaded his wife Jennifer Schlecht 42 ,killed their 5 yr old daughter Abaynesh Schlecht Tedla. and hanged himself.https://t.co/tGKkheFVS8 USA NYC
— Gadea (@Gadea) November 7, 2019
Domestic Violence incidence in NY:
While police say they had no prior incidents of domestic violence in 2016, Schlecht got a temporary restraining order against her husband after allegedly threatening her.
While overall crime continues to go down nationwide, domestic violence remains a blight on crime statistics with nearly 560 New Yorkers being killed in domestic violence incidents from 2010 to 2018. More than half of those victims were killed by spouses or partners. Almost 50 of these victims — nearly all of them women — were killed by a partner who then took his or her own life.
Today, we remember our colleague, Jennifer Schlecht. Jennifer devoted her entire career to advocating for women and girls. We will all remember her for her life – and the thousands of lives she enriched – rather than the horrible way she died. https://t.co/vbYz6MiUj8 pic.twitter.com/Ri27FmddOb
— Family Planning 2020 (@FP2020Global) November 7, 2019
Ironic death: Fought for females rights in crises
According to her LinkedIn page, Schlecht served as a senior adviser for emergency preparedness and response with the humanitarian partnership Family Planning 2020.
Beth Schlachter, executive director of FP2020, sent a statement to dailymail addressing the tragedy.
‘Jennifer Schlecht devoted her entire career to ensuring that women and girls in crisis situations have access to the best medical care possible including family planning and other reproductive health care,’ it read. ‘Most recently, she has been a vital part of the FP2020 family at the United Nations Foundation. She was a leader in the field of family planning and humanitarian response, and chose to work from New York so she could have more time with her darling daughter.
‘She delighted in telling us about her daughter’s first day of kindergarten and the clothes she picked out all by herself. In addition to being an adoring mother, her contribution to the lives of women and girls who are living in crisis situations has been extraordinary.
‘That she should die under such brutal circumstances is beyond understanding. But we will all remember her for her life – and the thousands of lives she enriched – rather than the horrible way she died. We are utterly devastated.’
Schlecht, graduated in 1999 from Boston University with a Bachelor’s degree in anthropology and went on to earn a Master’s degree in population and family health from Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health in 2004.
According to her online profile, Schlecht worked for 15 years in international relief and development, focusing on improving family planning for women and girls in areas affected by crises.
Schlecht and Tedla welcomed their daughter, Abaynesh, in November 2014. Her name derives from an Amharic word that is translated as ‘you are the Nile.’