Woman's stairwell death investigated after police welfare call found nothing

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The negligent NYPD officers who failed to check on a pregnant woman, who was found dead after reporting a domestic disturbance, have been suspended.

The NYPD has a confusing history specifically with this issue, wherein former NYPD officers have ignored calls before and been arrested for domestic violence themselves, all the while the NYPD police chief in charge of the Domestic Violence Unit is actually a survivor of abuse herself.

In that case, Barry Wells allegedly dragged Tonie Wells, 22, down the stairwell of a West 42nd Street building and into a closet before placing his hands around her neck, causing her to lose consciousness, according to the criminal complaint.

Tonie Wells' body was discovered shortly before 10 a.m.at the bottom of the basement staircase at a home on Sterling Place near Albany Avenue in Crown Heights, police said. Multiple calls were made to police before the discovery, indicating that there had been a loud argument and persistent crying coming from the couple's 2-year-old.

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Neighbors told the newspaper they were shocked by the violent tragedy.

"It was him, ' Tonie Wells" sister told the Daily News. "They didn't even go up to the house".

Cops took her husband into custody for questioning.

"I would like to mention that we do have a person of interest that we are now looking to speak with", NYPD Deputy Chief Michael Kemper said. He was questioned at the 77th Precinct station, and the case is being treated as a homicide. "The deceased female has bruising on her neck and it appears she was either pushed or fell down the flight of stairs leading to the basement". The investigation is ongoing.

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