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Ansonia man allegedly used an ax in violent domestic assault that killed wife, court documents show

Advocates say domestic violence cases have been on the rise due to pandemic-related stressors.

ANSONIA, Conn. — Fewer than two years after an Ansonia mother was allegedly murdered by her boyfriend, who is still suspect in the disappearance of their 15-month-old daughter, there was another domestic violence-related murder in that small city.

The normally quiet Root Ave. neighborhood in Ansonia was rocked Tuesday afternoon after an argument between a husband and wife turned deadly.

The first officer to arrive at 73 Root Ave. said he could hear crying and sobbing coming from the first-floor apartment and then discovered 34-year-old Grace Zielinska covered in blood from a brutal assault, allegedly committed by her husband, Kamil Zielinski.

The Chief State's Medical Examiner's office ruled her death a homicide, caused by chop and sharp force injuries of head and torso.

"Grace had severe injuries to her upper body and Kamil made statements indicating he was responsible for the assault on Grace," said Ansonia Police Lt. Patrick Lynch.

RELATED: Ansonia man accused of killing wife in domestic incident charged with murder

According to the arraignment report, the 28-year-old Zielinski was crying and stated “What have I done? Shoot me, just shoot me. I did it.” And he allegedly added "Please stay alive. Please!"

Police said they found the suspect standing over his wife as a knife with a curved blade was laying between her legs.

Zielinska was pronounced dead just over an hour after she was rushed to Yale New Haven Hospital.

"Grace was 34 years old and the mother of three children – ages five, three, and four months," Lynch said.

None of the children were injured although police say the 3-year-old child saw everything. In fact, the little boy greeted police at the door and said to them "come in," according to the affidavit.

"Kamil Zielinski was taken into custody and charged with murder and risk of injury and is being held on (a) $1 million bond," said Lynch.

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As police were checking the apartment to make sure there were no other victims, according to the affidavit, they noticed a black ax on the kitchen table with blood on the blade.

This marks the 9th known intimate partner homicide in Connecticut this year.

"While we do not know any specifics related to this tragic event, what we do know is that nationally an intimate partner homicide or attempted homicide is the first act of violence for between 28-33% of victims," said Meghan Scanlon, President & CEO, Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence (CCADV). "Often the behaviors that precede homicide are jealousy, control, and stalking. We urge individuals to consider speaking with an advocate when they begin to experience these coercive behaviors, even before they turn physical."

Domestic violence cases have increased, in part, due to pandemic-related stresses.

"In terms of folks being stuck in their home with their abuser that are now working from home or now unemployed as a result," said Esperina Stubblefield, the Director of Domestic Violence Services for BH Care.

For some, she says, they don't even realize they are a victim.

"Explain your particular situation so that folks can help guide you through this situation because oftentimes leaving is not the best option at the time," Stubblefield noted.

RELATED: Torrington stabbing leaves teen in critical condition; city man arrested

Anyone who feels unsafe in their relationship is urged to call or text 888.774.2900 or chat/email at www.CTSafeConnect.org.

Bilingual, multi-cultural staff are available 24/7. Safe Connect provides safety planning, extensive resources, and a safe connection to CCADV’s 18 member organizations for ongoing support and services locally. All services provided through Safe Connect and CCADV’s 18 member organizations are confidential, safe, free, and voluntary.

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