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Neighbors feared for safety of murdered handicapped Durham man

Posted July 21

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— A Durham woman indicted Monday for the murder of her handicapped roommate was found covered in blood on the night of the incident in June, according to search warrants obtained Thursday.

Elena Khanberg, 54, was charged with murder in the death of her boyfriend Cedric Page, 53. Authorities said that officers responded to an apartment Khanberg and Page shared in the 1500 block of Sedgefield Street just after midnight on June 17.

The apartment complex was specifically built to house disabled veterans.

Search warrants show that when police arrived at the scene, they noticed blood on the living room floor and found Khanberg sitting in a chair with blood on her hands. Khanberg told officers the victim was in the bathroom on the floor, according to the warrant.

Officers then found the unconscious victim and discovered a kitchen knife with blood on the blade, the warrant said. Investigators found a second knife in the shower, which also had traces of blood on the blade.

Neighbor Paul Monn said Khanberg often played with knives and even went so far as to threaten another neighbor in the apartment complex with one. Police said it did not appear Page was stabbed in the incident.

According to a 911 call, Khanberg went to an upstairs neighbor following the incident and asked her to dial 911 because neither she or Page had a phone.

'He's laying down here unconscious, bleeding out of his mouth and nose," said the caller, who explained those were the only details she was given about Page's condition. "We don't know what's going on, so we're not trying to get involved. We're just calling to get some help here."

Police said Page was found inside the apartment and had suffered blunt force trauma to his head. He died as a result of his injuries on June 25.

"He was a really happy going person and a really good man," said Monn.

Monn lives in the apartment next door to Page's and began noticing Khanberg coming around about a year and a half ago.

"She just started showing up. I talked to her; something wasn't right about her and I was worried about him because he was a handicapped veteran and I feel like he was being taken advantage of," said Monn.

Monn said Khanberg and Page fought constantly and he wasn't surprised to learn she had been charged in his murder.

'She was violent. I live right next door to them. I hear the fighting all the time," he said. "It shouldn't have happened. They should have just left each other alone."

Monn said he worried for the safety of Page, who was wheelchair bound, in the relationship. Other neighbors said they had concerns about Khanberg as well.

"I knew she was kind of on the coo-coo side, but I didn't think she would do anything like that," said neighbor Faith Lassiter.

Lassiter said she wishes she had known Page was in need of help.

Khanberg is being held in the Durham County jail without bond.


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