Wife found decapitated and daughter, 5, murdered in apartment

WARNING - DISTRESSING CONTENT: A man allegedly killed his estranged wife and their five-year-old daughter before taking his own life.

Officers were called to an apartment in Harlem, New York, after relatives found the bodies of Jennifer Schlecht, 42, and her daughter Abaynesh Schlecht Tedla, 5, on Wednesday about 9.15pm.

The mum was found decapitated in the bathroom, NY Daily News reported.

Police also discovered the body of the man they believed was responsible for the killings, Yonathan Tedla, 46.

Jennifer Schlecht, 42, was allegedly murdered by her estranged husband. Source: ABC 7/ Facebook

The couple were going through a divorce. Ms Schlecht, who worked for the United Nations Foundation, had called her parents on Sunday and expressed fear for her and her child’s safety, according to her father Kenneth Schlecht.

“She was in tears, a basket case,” Mr Schlecht told the Times. 

“She didn’t know if he would carry on with the threats.”

Stunned neighbors expressed shock that Tedla, 46, who was often seen smiling while carrying his daughter on his shoulders, allegedly committed murder.

Neighbour Jane Chancellor tearfully called the young girl “a precious thing.”

The couple were going through a divorce. Police are seen outside Ms Schlecht's building. Source: ABC 7

The United Nations Foundation’s Family Planning 2020 project, where Ms Schlecht worked, said she had worked in international relief and development, including specialised work in reproductive health and child marriage.

The project’s communications director Tamar Abrams said Ms Schlecht’s death is “hard to understand.

“Jenn was such a bright light in the world, and we all loved her,” she said.

The Associated Press

If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence, find help by visiting Lifeline or calling 1800 RESPECT.

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