Jan. 13, 2022 By Allie Griffin
A Queens Village man and former cop was charged with murder Wednesday for allegedly butchering his elderly mother to death with a machete last year.
Osvaldo Diaz, 46, was indicted by a Queens grand jury and arraigned in Queens Supreme Court on murder and other charges stemming from the February 2021 death of his 78-year-old mother, Maria Diaz.
The pair lived together in an apartment above a beauty salon on Hillside Avenue. The younger Diaz allegedly slaughtered his mother in their home on Feb. 24, left her body for his sister to find and went on the run for about a week until he was cuffed by police in New Jersey.
“The defendant allegedly attacked his mother with a machete – to the point of near-decapitation,” Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz said in a statement. “This outburst of violence has devastated the victim’s family, which includes her other six children.”
The same day Diaz allegedly killed his mother, his sister was supposed to visit with her to run errands and go for a walk, according to the Queens district attorney.
When she arrived at the apartment, she called their mother numerous times with no answer until the defendant finally picked up and told his sister to go shopping on her own. While she was out, Diaz was seen on video surveillance leaving the apartment.
When his sister returned, neither Diaz nor their mother answered her many phone calls, so she went to the building owner who unlocked the apartment. Inside, she found her mother’s bleeding body wrapped in bedding, the charges state.
Their mother — who had seven children including Diaz and his sister — was pronounced dead at the scene.
Meanwhile Diaz, who was once a NYPD officer, fled the state and was picked up about a week after the murder in New Jersey. He was extradited to Queens Wednesday and arraigned on three-count indictment charging him with murder in the second degree and two counts of criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree.
He is set to return to court on Feb. 17 and faces up to 25 years to life in prison if convicted.
Soon after Mrs. Diaz’s death, the defendant’s family told the New York Daily News that Diaz has severe mental health issues which they feared could be a danger to their mother. They believe his mental health also led to him being fired from the NYPD. Diaz was hired by the department in 2005 and forced out in 2008.