Eric Bellucci, New York Murder Suspect, Arrested In Israel

10/15/2010 01:00 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

JERUSALEM — Israeli police on Friday arrested a U.S. citizen who flew to Israel after allegedly stabbing his parents to death in their New York home earlier this week.

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said police detained the man at Israel's Ben-Gurion International Airport while he was trying to buy a plane ticket. Police are questioning the suspect, who will remain in custody while Israel coordinates his extradition to the U.S.

The New York Police Department identified the man as Eric Bellucci of Staten Island, N.Y. His parents, Arthur and Marian, were found dead earlier this week.

Rosenfeld said police had been searching for Bellucci for nearly 24 hours in coordination with the NYPD. Israeli TV footage showed police hauling an unshaven, woozy Bellucci from the airport into a van. His eyes were shut and he did not resist.

Bellucci is not an Israeli citizen, and it was unclear why he had traveled to Israel.

Liron Cohen, an airport check-in attendant, told Israel's Channel 10 the man "appeared unstable, spoke to himself and wasn't sure what he wanted" when he was at her counter.

He tried to buy a one-way ticket on a Turkish airline to Beijing via Istanbul, but his credit card was rejected, she said. When he offered to return with cash, she checked his passport, called her supervisors and security detained him, she said.

The NYPD said it found the slain couple Wednesday night after a 911 call from a relative. Police identified them as Arthur Bellucci, 61, and Marian Bellucci, 56.

The New York Post reported that the couple's daughter had found their bodies.

"She opened the door and saw blood on the floor in the foyer," the paper quoted Joe Ciervo, the suspect's uncle, as saying. "She knew something was bad in there. She didn't want to go in. She left right away and called 911."

Police found Eric Bellucci's SUV parked at Newark Liberty International Airport.

The NYPD said previously that the son lived with his parents and suffered from schizophrenia.

He was once a star athlete at Stuyvesant High School in Manhattan, and his father was a senior associate at a large real estate company, according to published reports.


Associated Press Writer Tom Hays in New York contributed to this report.