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A Bronx mother and her six-year-old daughter were killed in a knife attack carried out by the woman’s boyfriend who later died by suicide, police sources said today.
Gabrielle Muniz, 26, and her daughter Rozara Estvez were found stabbed to death in their Bronx home on March 5, according to the New York City Police Department. Her boyfriend, Caleb Duberry, who is suspected of the murders, subsequently killed himself, according to the New York City Police Department.
Authorities found the 26-year-old mother and her daughter unresponsive and suffering from stab wounds at her residence in the 4000 block of Monticello Avenue during a wellness check shortly before midnight on Saturday. The pair were later pronounced dead on-scene by emergency responders.
Muniz’s boyfriend, 34-year-old Caleb Duberry, was later found dead inside a north Bronx property at 3475 Bivonia Street. Duberry’s official cause and manner of death wasn’t immediately released by police, pending an autopsy.
The New York City Office of the Chief Medical Examiner didn't immediately respond to Oxygen.com on Tuesday regarding inquiries related to suspected murder-suicide investigation.
The family of the slain Bronx mother and child are now reeling from the violent and sudden deaths.
“It’s such a tough pill to swallow,” her sister, Gisselle Denise Muniz, told Oxygen.com. “Gabrielle was so full of life, we played together in our underground garage playroom in Italy, we made stupid dance videos, sang together to loud music in my car on Taco Bell runs, let me do her makeup for a video contest, and was just my lifelong best friend,” “We argued like sisters, made up, played together, we shared a birthday. She was my rock.”
The grieving 32-year-old said her sister also loved jet skiing, shopping, and “being goofy” with family members. She described the Bronx mom as “beautiful inside and out.”
“She was my role model, my friend — so intelligent and driven,” Gisselle Muniz said. “I know what she would have wanted for me, and it’s to be strong, which I’ll try my best to do, so I can live in her and Rozara’s honor.”
Gisselle Muniz also said her sister’s slain daughter will be remembered as a “literal beam of sunshine.”
“It was the beginning of a beautiful chapter when I met Rozara,” Gisselle Muniz added. “She was the daughter I never had, and my sons were so blessed to have enjoyed such a wonderful time with their cousin Rozara, although short. My sister was an amazing woman raising what we all knew would also be an amazing young woman.”
Gabrielle Muniz’s mother also described her daughter as a dedicated single mother, who was "smart, sweet, and innocent." Muniz graduated as a valedictorian, her family said.
"My daughter was an incredible person," Yanik Rocha, Muniz’s mother, told PEOPLE.com on Monday. "She was a single mother, with no help from the father. She was a hard worker and an inspiration for all."
The family, who said Muniz and Duberry’s relationship had become strained in recent months, are adamant the slaying was fueled by efforts to leave him.
"I didn't like him, and I told Gabrielle that," Rocha added. "I believe, and I will never know, because the coward killed himself, but she probably told him she was done. This probably happened because she told him it was over."
No further information was available from law enforcement this week. The case remains open and active.
Duberry was on parole at the time of the alleged murder-suicide. He had previously been arrested on gun possession, assault, and robbery charges.
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