Bjana James was allegedly killed by her boyfriend, 35-year-old Nashan Walsh, last week in New York City. The young woman’s body was found on Saturday with her throat slashed. Police are investigating and have arrested Walsh for the crime.
According to reports, James had told a relative last Wednesday that she was scared of her boyfriend and worried that he would hurt her. The mother of two stopped answering her phone Wednesday night and by Saturday, family members were concerned.
“She basically was texting her [relative] the day it happened like, ‘I’m scared. He’s gonna kill me. I’m scared for my life. He is bugging out,” a cousin, who said her name was Shelly, told the New York Post. “He left the house. She wrote back… ‘He’s here, he’s back,’ and ever since she wrote that we didn’t hear from her again.”
James’ texts also said that Walsh had been acting crazy and had been screaming that someone had laced his marijuana.
Bjana James’ family went over to her apartment Saturday morning after they didn’t hear from her. They said that the front door was open when they arrived, and her brother found the 37-year-old’s body with a knife wound to the neck. NYPD reported that there was no sign of forced entry on the scene.
“Her brother came first, turned her knob, it was open,” said Shelly. “Thank God her mother didn’t get in. Something just wasn’t right.”
Police were called to the apartment Saturday morning and Bjana James was found “unconscious and unresponsive.” Paramedics later pronounced her dead on the scene. A knife was found on her chest, and it had been reportedly wiped clean.
James lived in Bronx’s Betances Houses on East 147th Street in Mott Haven. Nashan Walsh reportedly lived with James in the apartment. Bjana James is survived by her two children, a 12-year-old son and an 8-year-old daughter. The two children lived with their grandmother at the time of James’ death.
Nashan Walsh was arrested on Saturday by members of the NYPD. The 37-year-old was charged with manslaughter, murder, and criminal possession of a weapon. The young man was reportedly an ex-con and longtime friend of the mother of two.
A motive for the murder is unclear and according to James’ family, they were unsure if the 35-year-old was in an abusive relationship. Her mother, Stacey James, spoke to the Post and said, “I didn’t know she was in a domestic violence relationship. I noticed a change in her when they got together. She wouldn’t come see the baby as much.”
Since Bjana James’ death, her family has started a memorial outside of her apartment. Friends and family have left candles to remember the young woman.
Her mother said, “I can still hear my daughter talking. My daughter was loved…People really loved my daughter. What could have gotten out of hand in an argument that could not be handled? I’m trying to hold my composure. But I know in some time, I am going to break down.”
The family added that they have not told James’ two children about her death and are worried about how the children will react.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, NYC has seen a rise in crime. Most recently, the city has had numerous deaths on the subway. Mayor Eric Adams has passed new laws which will combat the recent rise in subway crimes and reduce the homeless population.