A Manhattan man was arrested in the murder of his wife, who was found dead nearly six years ago in her Upper West Side apartment, police said Monday.
Roderick Covlin, 42, of New Rochelle, New York pleaded not guilty to the murder of his estranged wife, Shele Covlin née Danishefsky, who was found on December 31, 2009 strangled to death in her bathtub.
Danishefsky’s body was found by her then nine-year-old daughter at 7:15 a.m. on New Year’s Day with her head underwater in the bathtub in the family’s West 68th Street apartment.
The little girl called Covlin, who was living across the hall in another unit, and he called police, who initially believed the woman fell into the tub and fatally struck her head.
It was only hours before Danishefsky, 47, was supposed to meet with her attorney to cut Covlin out of her will, the New York Daily News reported.
The pair was in the process of getting divorced after Covlin expressed that he wanted an open marriage and he stood to gain roughly half of Danishefsky’s $4 million estate, according to reports.
She was buried without an autopsy because of her Orthodox Jewish faith, but her family had grown suspicious of her death agreed to have her body exhumed. In April 2010, her death was declared a homicide.
The former trader turned backgammon player was on his way to visit his daughter and son, who live with Covlin’s parents in Scarsdale, when he was arrested Sunday in front of that town’s Metro-North train station, according to the Daily News.
Covlin had allegedly tried to burglarize Danishevsky’s home and during “the immediate flight therefrom,” he killed his estranged wife, according to court papers filed by prosecutors. He was charged with two counts of second degree murder and was remanded.
“On the final day of 2009, a 47-year-old mother of two was found dead in her apartment,” Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance said in a statement.
“An investigation over the ensuing years has resulted in her husband being charged with her murder. It is our hope that this prosecution will bring justice for Ms. Danishefsky-Covlin, and provide closure to her grieving family and friends,” Vance said.
Covlin’s defense attorney Robert Gottlieb did not immediately return request for comment.