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Mom of two, 37, is found dead with a knife stuck in her chest and her throat slashed in the Bronx


A New York casino worker and mother of two was found dead at a housing project in the Bronx Saturday with a knife stuck in her chest and her throat slashed after telling family she feared for her life days earlier.  

Bjana James, 37, was found at the Betances Houses NYCHA building on East 147th street on Saturday at 2:45 p.m. in the Mott Haven section of the Bronx, police said. She was pronounced dead at the scene. 

The knife had been wiped clean of any evidence of the killer before it was left inside of her, the New York Daily News reported. 

Her family said that she was last heard from on Wednesday, when she sent a text saying she feared for her life. 

James’ younger sister said that she texted a friend saying her boyfriend – who has not yet been named – was ‘acting strangely and screaming about someone lacing his marijuana.’ 

Bjana James, 37, was found at the Betances Houses NYCHA building on East 147th street on Saturday at 2:45 p.m. in the Mott Haven section of the Bronx

James' family said she's leaving behind two children, a 12-year-old son named Junior and an 8-year-old daughter named Maya (pictured above)

James’ family said she’s leaving behind two children, a 12-year-old son named Junior and an 8-year-old daughter named Maya (pictured above)

‘She said ‘I’m scared. He’s going to kill me!” said her sister, who requested anonymity.

James’ cousin, who only identified herself as Shelly, said the boyfriend returned to the apartment eventually.   

‘(She texted me) ‘He’s here! He’s back!’ and ever since she wrote that we didn’t hear from her again,’ she said. ‘Something wasn’t right, she always replies.’

Family members tried to get in touch with James Thursday but she didn’t reply. She was found Friday night.   

‘Her brother came first, turned her knob, it was open,’ said Shelly. ‘Thank God her mother didn’t get in. Something just wasn’t right.’

James' mother, Stacey, seen heartbroken at the scene of her daughter's death

James’ mother, Stacey, seen heartbroken at the scene of her daughter’s death

Stacey, said that Bjana was living with an ex-con who was also a lifelong friend of her daughter

Stacey, said that Bjana was living with an ex-con who was also a lifelong friend of her daughter

Her mother, Stacey, said that she was living with an ex-con who was also a lifelong friend of her daughter. 

‘I can still hear my daughter talking,’ James, 61, said. ‘My daughter was loved…People really loved my daughter. What could have gotten out of hand in an argument that could not be handled?’ 

‘I’m trying to hold my composure,’ added James. ‘But I know in some time, I am going to break down.’ 

James’ family said she’s leaving behind two children, a 12-year-old son named Junior and an 8-year-old daughter named Maya, who were staying with their grandmother at the time of their mother’s death. She worked at a casino in nearby Yonkers.  

Friends and families lit candles at a small memorial at the apartment just hours later to celebrate Bjana James’ life. 

New York City Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell has overseen a devastating crime wave in her first three months in office

New York City Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell has overseen a devastating crime wave in her first three months in office

‘She was a loving person,’ James’ cousin said. ‘She left her two kids behind. We have to go break the news to her kids. We didn’t think this would happen.’ 

No arrests have been made yet. The investigation is ongoing. 

Crime in New York City has skyrocketed in 2022 after increased numbers in 2021. 

There were 32 murders in February – three more than the same month last year. 

Multiple other categories saw shocking jumps, including car theft, which soared by nearly 105 percent; grand larceny, which jumped nearly 80 percent over the previous year; robberies, which surged 56 percent; a 44 percent bump in burglaries and a 22 percent spike in assaults. Rapes also saw a terrifying 35 percent rise in February.   

The crime wave comes during Mayor Eric Adams’ first few months in office. The former NYPD cop has vowed to crack down on the influx of incidents on the city’s streets and subway system – which has seen a rash of violent incidents in recent weeks. Former Mayor Bill De Blasio’s policies contributed to the current crime wave, experts said.

The New York subway has been ground zero for the latent crime wave after an alarming 73.3 percent increase in underground incidents – including 182 in February alone.

Hate crimes have also doubled since last year — with anti-Asian attacks more than tripling and anti-Jewish complaints up by a whopping 54 percent over the same time last year, from 134 to 207 incidents.

One recent poll revealed that nearly 75 percent of all New York City voters consider crime to be a ‘very serious’ problem. 



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