Police officers answering a 911 call early on Wednesday found a woman who was unconscious and “visibly pregnant” on the ground outside an apartment house in the Red Hook section of Brooklyn, officials said. She had been pulled from a car that drove off quickly.
The woman, Tatiana Walton, was pronounced dead a short time later at a nearby hospital, the police said, and her fetus also died. By late Thursday, a man with whom she had a 2-year-old son had been charged with strangling her, the authorities said.
On Friday, the man, Kelvin Philp, 25, was arraigned on a second-degree murder charge and ordered held without bail, according to a spokesman for the Brooklyn district attorney’s office.
Mr. Philp had not yet entered a plea, the spokesman said. A lawyer representing him did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The 911 call about Ms. Walton, 27, came in just after 2 a.m. on Wednesday, the police said. When officers arrived, officials said, she was “unconscious and unresponsive” outside the building she lived in on Lorraine Street in the Red Hook West public housing complex.
According to a criminal complaint, Mr. Philp was seen on surveillance video and by the person who called 911 in his car in front of Ms. Walton’s building that morning.
After getting out of his car, he appeared to drag Ms. Walton from it and leave her on the ground before driving off quickly, the complaint said.
It was initially unclear what caused Ms. Walton’s death, but the office of New York City’s chief medical examiner later determined that it was the result of asphyxiation “due to neck compression,” according to the criminal complaint.
Later on Wednesday, according to court documents, a security camera captured Mr. Philp leaving a 2-year-old boy, Ozaiah Philp, on a doorstep in Jackson Heights, Queens. Mr. Philp and Ms. Walton were the boy’s parents, according to court documents.
A friend of Ms. Walton’s, Eva Salazar Fierro, said that Ms. Walton had been in a “very toxic” relationship with an on-again, off-again boyfriend whom Ms. Fierro knew as “Kal.”
Ms. Fierro, who said she had been Ms. Walton’s supervisor at retail jobs at Century 21 and Sunglass Hut in Manhattan starting in 2013, recalled that Ms. Walton would fall out of touch with friends and colleagues for months at a time because of how possessive her boyfriend was.
Ms. Fierro also said she had once noticed a bruise on Ms. Walton’s chest, and had asked her about it. Ms. Walton, Mr. Fierro said, indicated that her boyfriend had gotten mad and pushed her.
Her own experience as a victim of domestic violence made her worry that Ms. Walton was being abused, Ms. Fierro said.
“The way that I acted when I was physically abused, I used to see it in her,” Ms. Fierro recalled.
According to a report from the Mayor’s Office to End Domestic and Gender-Based Violence, 30 people were killed in the city in 2018 by an intimate partner, a category that includes spouses, romantic partners or someone the victim had previously dated. There were 26 such victims the year before.
Edgar Sandoval contributed reporting.