Shaniesha Forbes. (Source: Facebook)
Christian Ferdinand (Source: Aroostook Sheriff Department via Daily Mail)
A jury today convicted Christian Ferdinand, 22, of brutally suffocating 14-year-old Shaniesha Forbes to death, stuffing her in a suitcase, and attempting to set her corpse on fire on Gerritsen Beach in 2013.
He was found guilty of second degree murder and tampering with physical evidence. He faces 25 years to life in prison when sentenced on January 7 – exactly two years and one day after Forbes’ body was found charred on Gerritsen Beach.
Ferdinand and Forbes met on Facebook and began to pursue a relationship. On the morning of January 4, 2013, the two got into a fight; Forbes confessed she believed she was pregnant, and Ferdinand wanted her to terminate the pregnancy, demanding she “kill it,” according to testimony.
Prosecutors say Ferdinand became enraged, and smothered the petite girl with a pillow at his cousin’s Nostrand Avenue apartment near Avenue M. He reportedly stuffed her in a suitcase and stashed it on his cousin’s rooftop before driving to the end of Gerritsen Avenue, where he set the body on fire.
Forbes was not pregnant, according to a medical examiner’s report.
After killing Forbes, Ferdinand fled to Limestone, Maine, and got a job through Job Corp. When he was arrested in May 2013, he confessed to the crime – and asked for community service, according to the New York Post.
“Do you think I can get some kind of community service?” he asked, according to the Post.
Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson has other ideas.
“The defendant brutally took the life of a 14 year-old girl all because he believed that she was pregnant. We will now seek the maximum at sentencing to ensure that we get justice for the victim,” said Thompson in a statement.
Forbes was a resident of Flatflands, and was a freshman at the Academy for Young Writers in East New York at the time of her death.