Authorities on Tuesday captured a man in New York City suspected of killing his teenage daughter and a second woman last week in Henrico County.
New York police and officers with a U.S. Marshals Service fugitive task force arrested Abdool Z. Zaman without incident shortly after 7 a.m. Tuesday in Queens, N.Y., the authorities said.
Zaman, 39, was identified as a suspect after Thursday’s slaying of his daughter, Vanessa Zaman, and Leona Samlall. The two 18-year-old women were shot and left to die at midday Thursday at the Oakmeade Apartments in the 200 block of Airport Place in the Highland Springs area. Officers were summoned to the scene about 12:15 p.m.
Zaman faces charges of second-degree murder. Police have not assigned a motive to the killings or explained what prompted the alleged encounter between Abdool Zaman, of Orlando, Fla., and the two victims at the apartment complex in Highland Springs. Investigators believe the two women had been staying with Samlall’s mother and stepfather in an apartment in the 300 block of Airport Place, one block from where they were shot.
Authorities said the family has told them that Samlall’s stepfather is the brother of Abdool Zaman, but investigators have not confirmed the relationship.
No one answered the door Tuesday evening at the apartment where the victims were believed to have been staying. A neighbor said the family is now in New York and that Samlall’s mother declined to speak with a reporter by phone.
Many questions remained unanswered Tuesday. Samlall once attended Highland Springs High School, but she withdrew in the fall of 2016. Henrico police confirmed she had been on a missing persons list for the past two years, but they did not say Tuesday where they believe she was during that time.
Vanessa Zaman’s mother, Saveeta Barnes, shared words of sorrow about her daughter’s death on social media.
“The loss of a child is like losing your inner soul,” Barnes posted on Instagram. “My daughter was my life and nothing will ever be the same. Always in my heart my baby girl.”
“My heart is torn into a million pieces,” Barnes wrote in another post. “I cannot bring myself to accept the reality of losing my love, my child, my firstborn, my everything. I wish I could rewind time my baby, I will see you soon. Mommy loves you to infinity and beyond my “lilo,” my lovee. Rest in peace my love, rest in peace.”
Barnes could not be reached for comment Tuesday.
Henrico County Commonwealth’s Attorney Shannon Taylor said Tuesday it was unclear when Abdool Zaman will be back in the county to face the second-degree murder charges in court.
“As we continue to investigate the matter and collect evidence and information, we will reassess the matter as to whether we think other charges are appropriate,” Taylor said.
It was unclear Tuesday whether Zaman has an attorney representing him.
Kevin Connolly, a supervisory inspector for the U.S. Marshals Service who oversees the Richmond area’s Fugitive Task Force, said Tuesday’s arrest was made after close cooperation with Henrico homicide detectives. The FBI also has assisted in the investigation, he said.
“The Henrico detectives were following every lead,” Connolly said Tuesday. “We were happy to assist them to help bring justice to the family.”
Connolly said Abdool Zaman originally is from Guyana in South America and his last known address was in Orlando, Fla.
Since last week, investigators had been chasing leads in Orlando, New York and Connecticut in their search for the suspect.