Michael Sykes is wanted by the NYPD after his girlfriend and three of her daughters were found stabbed inside of a Staten Island Ramada Inn. Two of the 26-year-old homeless mother’s daughters have died along with their mother as a result of the attack which occurred at around 9 a.m. on February 10. The victims were discovered by a member of the hotel’s housekeeping service at around 10 a.m. The suspect is 23 years old. The deceased daughters are Miracle, 2, and Maliyah, 5 months old. The adult victim was Rebecca Cutler. Sykes was the father of Malaiyah. The other child who is still fighting for her life is 1-year-old Ziana.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. ‘Sykes Barged Into Cutler’s Room & Attacked Her’ After Getting Breakfast With the Family
The children were described as being in “critical condition,” reports Pix 11. Cutler’s condition was initially described as “life threatening.” An hour after the attack, Cutler was pronounced dead. Slightly after, one of her children was reported to have died. The New York Daily News reports that “Sykes barged into a Ramada Inn hotel room about 10:10 a.m. and attacked the woman and her three tots.”
Surveillance video shows Sykes with Cutler and her children at a deli close to the hotel where they all got breakfast. NBC New York reports that the family returned to the hotel just before 8 a.m. Sykes didn’t go into the room but waited outside. Just before 9 a.m., he entered the room and left a few minutes later.
The children were being treated at Staten Island University Hospital, reports CBS New York.
2. He Has No Previous Criminal Convictions
On his Facebook page, Sykes, who goes by Michael Dakid Sykes on the site, celebrated the birth of his daughter, Maliyah, on September 22. Since 2013, he’s worked at a Duane Reade store. The New York Daily News reports that he lives in Brooklyn’s notorious Howard Houses in the neighborhood of Brownsville. The newspaper adds that he has no previous criminal convictions.
The description on his Instagram page reads:
Chillin lyka villian… Yall no me… Im just gunna be posting things I feel might be funny. Like if yu want, Not gunna hate if yu dont. IDC TBH LML
3. He Called His Mother & Said He Was Going to Kill His Girlfriend & Then Commit Suicide
The Wall Street Journal, quoting an NYPD source, said that Sykes called his mother and said he was going to kill his girlfriend. He also said that he was going to commit suicide.
The NYPD is still searching for Sykes. A massive police response has descended on the hotel and the surrounding area. Anybody with any information as to his whereabouts is asked to call 800577-TIPS.
4. On Rebecca Cutler’s Facebook Page, She Says She Was Married to Sykes
According to a Facebook page, Sykes and Cutler got married on July 12, 2015. Above is one of the many loving conversations that litter her page. She was a native of Richmond, Virginia, but was living in New York City at the time of her death. Speaking to the Daily News, another woman who lived at the hotel, Shaquia Williams, said, “[Cutler] was a good mom. She was always with her kids. It’s sad, it’s tragic, she was cool people. We hung out, I watched the kids for her a few times. She didn’t deserve it.”
5. The Hotel Provides Shelter to Homeless People on Staten Island
The hotel is one of four in Staten Island that is used to house homeless people, reports Staten Island Live. A neighbor to the hotel, Cathy Garritano, told the Daily News that the hotel was unsafe. She said:
Years ago this place was a dump — it was a hell hole. Then they fixed it up and we thought things would get better. But they haven’t. There are fights here all the time. You see people at night in the parking lot, all smoking joints, passing drugs to each other. It’s disgusting. You have to worry about even getting out of your car. It’s not safe.
The newspaper further reported on February 2, that the facilities used to house the homeless during the winter were rife with building code violations. In reaction to the stabbings in Staten Island, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that more security will be laid on the for the hotels that are used to house the homeless.
The hotel is located at 535 Gannon Avenue North, close to the College of Staten Island. According to the Ramada Inn website, it has a 3 and a half star rating. On February 4, Staten Island Live reported that the FDNY had been called to the hotel over reports of a carbon monoxide leak.