Ex-boyfriend accused of stabbing woman to death and leaving her body in bathtub

MANHATTAN, NY – A man in Manhattan stands accused of stabbing his ex-girlfriend to death. He left her bloody body in a bathtub, according to law enforcement sources and police. The victim, 33-year-old Melanie Woods, was discovered with multiple stab wounds and a gash across her neck inside her Second Avenue apartment.

Police and fire department officials entered Woods’ residence for a welfare check around 6 p.m. Tuesday, after her mother and a friend raised alarm when she didn’t board her flight to California and her phone was tracked back to her apartment. Emergency medical services on the scene pronounced Woods dead, and the city medical examiner declared her death a homicide.

The primary suspect is Melanie’s ex-partner, 51-year-old Candido Rodriguez. Authorities arrested Rodriguez on Thursday afternoon, formally charging him with first-degree murder and criminal possession of a weapon.

Witness accounts paint a grim picture of Tuesday’s events, with one neighbor claiming to have seen Rodriguez in the apartment’s stairwell around 7 a.m., while another reported hearing a commotion from Woods’ apartment before someone left hastily. Inside the apartment, authorities reportedly found a table blocking the front door.

Melanie, described as a lover of dogs and adventures with a soft spot for underdogs, is mourned by her heartbroken family. An online fundraiser, portraying Melanie as a vibrant soul whose presence bought out the best in people, aims to take her remains back to her native California. The fund, initially seeking $10,000 for Melanie’s cremation and the travel costs for the family to sort out her affairs in New York, has reached over $28,000.