Suspect arrested in grisly Gerritsen Beach murder

Brooklyn Daily
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He’s the Maine suspect.

Cops have arrested a man from Maine for the murder of a 14-year-old girl in Flatbush, whose burnt and buried body was found on Brooklyn’s southern coast in Gerritsen Beach over four-months ago.

Witnesses pointed the finger at Christian Ferdinand, 20, who was picked up by the cops in Limestone, Maine, on May 14 and extradited to the 63rd Precinct station house on May 16.

Ferdinand broke under questioning, and admitted to smothering Shaniesha Forbes on Jan. 4, when he held a pillow to the girl’s face until she stopped moving and then packed her small body into a suitcase, according to a spokesman for District Attorney Charles Hynes.

The suspect allegedly then hauled the morbid luggage to a stretch of beach near the southern end of Gerritsen Avenue — roughly three miles away from her Flatbush home — where he set fire to Forbes’s remains, and left them to burn.

Forbes’ death was ruled a homicide on May 3, one-day short of the four-month anniversary of her murder — if Ferdinand’s testimony can be believed — and the victim’s family, speaking at a May 16 press conference, said they were convinced the murderer was someone she knew.

“Once we found out that she was suffocated, we knew that it was personal ... that it was somebody that she knew,” said Kerri-Ann Thomas, Shaniesha’s cousin and family spokeswoman.

Ferdinand told police that he killed Forbes, because he believed she was pregnant and she refused to undergo abortion, according to a New York Daily News report.

According to the Medical Examiners’ report, however, Forbes was not pregnant at the time of her death.

The girl’s family caught wind of that alleged motive, but said it doesn’t adds up.

“You had the courage and the balls to kill her but you couldn’t go to the pharmacy to buy a pregnancy test to find out if it was true?” Thomas asked. “That makes no sense.”

Reach reporter Colin Mixson at or by calling (718) 260-4514.
Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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