Ex-Boyfriend Indicted In Dancer's Murder
(New York - WABC, December 23, 2005) (WABC) -- Paul Cortez, the former boyfriend of aspiring dancer Catherine Woods, has been indicted in her death after a bloody fingerprint at the scene linked him to the crime.
Eyewitness News reporter Nina Pineda is here with the story.
If not for the courage of another alleged victim of this man, the case of Catherine Woods' murder may have gone unsolved. But an ex-girlfriend of suspect Paul Cortez came forward giving police the link they were looking forward to place him at the murder scene.
The evidence the grand jury weighed to indict the 25-year-old yoga instructor included a videotape of suspect Paul Cortez, who police allege was lurking outside dancer Catherine Woods' apartment the night she was murdered.
Homicide detectives also presented phone calls, seven calls in a row, made from Cortez's cell phone to his former girlfriend, calls that ended abruptly around the same time the aspiring actress was killed.
But the clincher in court was a bloody fingerprint from the Upper East Side crime scene, a print police say matched one of Paul Cortez's fingers.
Police arrested Cortez on the charge he forcibly sodomized another woman. She came forward after he was linked as a prime suspect in the 21-year-old dancer's fatal stabbing.
Only then were police able to move in make the arrest on sexual assault charges, charges now that led to murder indictment of Catherine Woods.
The young woman who helped crack this case said she hesitated at first because she was embarrassed about being sexually assaulted by this suspect and thought no one would believe her.
The family of Catherine Woods has just released a statement from their home in Columbus, Ohio. In it they say they are relieved and express their extreme gratitude to the NYPD, who kept them informed every step of the way since their daughter was murdered on Nov. 27th.
Cortez plead not guilty. He'll be back in court in a few weeks in the meantime he's being held without bail.
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