On Oct. 16, Desiree Curry, a UR Dining Services employee, was murdered in a fatal stabbing in her Remington Street home, where she lived with her 2-year-old daughter, Maz, and her grandmother, Bertha Douglas. She was 22. Curry worked in Wilson Commons on weekend nights and occasionally during the week. She started working for Dining Services through a temporary employment agency on Sept. 6 of this year.
Curry’s life and death have left an impact on her family, co-workers and community. Police have labeled the homicide as a case of domestic violence.
At around 11:30 p.m. on Thursday night of Oct. 16, Rochester police were called to Curry’s home. Police found Curry lying on the floor with numerous stab wounds to her upper body. They also found a gardening tool next her body, which her parents later confirmed to be a pair of hedge clippers.
Douglas said that she was sleeping in her room when Curry’s ex-boyfriend came over to talk. Douglas said that they were tussling, and then at around 11:15 p.m., Curry came into her room and collapsed. Douglas saw a big gash wound in Curry’s back and immediately called the Emergency Department. Curry was then rushed to Strong Memorial Hospital, where she was pronounced dead at 12:10 a.m.
Curry was born and raised on Remington Street. Her mother had recently moved across the street from her. Community members described Curry as a friendly and caring individual. Some of her neighbors said that she would spend time with their nieces and nephews. Curry was also an aspiring nurse and was pursuing her nursing career at Monroe Community College’s Damon City Center.
Curry is survived by her daughter, Maz, who turned 3 years old on Oct. 18 just two days after her mother’s death. Curry’s family members say that it was hard to celebrate Maz’s birthday while preparing for Curry’s funeral shortly after.
‘My number one priority now is her birthday party,” Mary Miller, Curry’s mother, said. ‘I want her to remember her birthday, not seeing her mother killed.”
Services for Curry were held on Wednesday, Oct. 22 from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Holy Trinity Church on North Street. The funeral was on Thursday, Oct. 23 at 11 a.m., also at the Holy Trinity.
UR sophomore Derek Ward-Joyles, a Rochester community member, reflected on the events.
‘My family was friends with her mother,” Ward-Joyles said. ‘Things are rough out here. My condolence goes out to her and her family. You just got to enjoy every day as your last and appreciate your loved ones because you never know what could happen to them.”
Curry’s classmates and the MCC Student Government are currently holding fundraisers for a school memorial dedicated to Curry. The inner city Rochester community also responded to Curry’s death by holding an anti-violence rally on Remington Street. Miller was front and center as she held flyers for the anti-violence rally in front of Curry’s home.
Curry’s co-workers at UR were shocked and appalled to hear the news. ‘I just got through working with her at the Pit that Wednesday,” Anthony Jones, an employee at the Pit, said. ‘They’re rough out here. She just finished breaking up with the guy, and he came over to stab her in front her own daughter. People are really something else.”
Director of Campus Dining Services and Auxiliary Operations Cam Schauf addressed the issue with UR Dining Services’ employees. ‘We have dealt with the loss by letting our employees know about the availability of the Employee Assistance Program through their medical benefits,” Schauf said. ‘We also let people have time off for the services if they wanted it.”
The case is still under investigation. RPD has yet to locate Curry’s former boyfriend, who is the leading suspect in the crime, and they urge anyone who has additional information to call Crimestoppers at (585) 423-9300.
Nathaniel is a member of the class of 2011.