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Brooklyn's Gerritsen Beach, where Christian Ferdinand dumped the charred remains of 14-year-old Shaniesha Forbes after she refused to get an abortion. Wikimedia Commons
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Man found guilty of murdering 14-year-old girl, setting her on fire, for refusing an abortion

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Jurors in New York City have found a 22-year-old man guilty of murdering a 14-year-old girl, setting her body on fire, then placing her charred remains in a suitcase and throwing them into the ocean last January after she refused to have an abortion.

The New York Daily News describes Christian Ferdinand as “a subhuman Brooklynite.” (He was born in Jamaica.)

Ferdinand was 20 years old when he met Shaniesha Forbes, a freshman at the Academy for Young Writers, on Facebook, and the two became sexually active. Forbes' mother, Sandra Price, said she knew her minor daughter was dating someone but did not know his name, age, or what he looked like.

Forbes texted Ferdinand one night to tell him that she was pregnant with his baby, and she would not have an abortion due to her mother's religious beliefs.

“My n—a, are you serious? Kill that s–t,” he replied.

The two met at his cousin's house later, but as they cuddled on the couch, Forbes would not relent on her plan to keep his baby – so he took matters into his own hands.

Ferdinand smothered the girl with a leather pillow, then charred her body with a lighter and placed her remains in a suitcase. He eventually threw the remains into Gerritsen Beach.

Forbes was reported missing on January 4. Police found her remains two days later, washed up on the beach.

“The defendant hoped that the saltwater would destroy any evidence the flames didn’t,” the prosecutor, Robert Walsh, said in his closing argument. “He had a problem that needed solving: He didn’t want to pay child support, and Shaniesha got in the way.”

Police records show that Ferdinand denied any involvement in her murder, until they produced DNA evidence tying him to the crime.

“It didn’t deserve to live,” Ferdinand told them.

Police had another surprise for him: Tests on her remains showed that Forbes was not pregnant, after all.

Court documents reveal that after confessing to the murder of Shaniesha Forbes, the young man asked officers, “Do you think I can get some kind of community service?”

The district attorney charged him with second-degree murder, and the jury took only one hour to convict Ferdinand on Monday.

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A female juror called the case “open and shut.”

“Young girls should be careful who they hook up with on the internet,” she said. “But he should not have done what he did.”

At his sentencing next month, he could receive 25 years to life.

“I don’t think God should forgive him,” Shaquana Forbes, Shaniesha's older sister, said.

“I hope he won’t see the light of day again. I will never see my baby again,” Price added.

Harold Crawford, a community advocate with 100 Blacks in Law Enforcement Who Care, told the Bangor Daily News in Maine he hopes that young people learn the dangers of internet hookups. “Anytime someone on a social media site tells you to keep secrets, that’s when it’s time to cut it off,” he said.

Unfortunately, Forbes joins a growing list of young women who have been murdered when they refused to cave to their boyfriend or husband's pressure to abort a child.

A Pennsylvania man, Stephen Poaches, strangled his 24-year-old girlfriend, killing her and their unborn baby in a rage in July 2005.

In 1997, Alfred E. Smith of Louisiana killed his ex-girlfriend, Denna Moody, after she refused to abort their child. He was found guilty of committing second-degree murder.

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