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Cape man charged in fatal stabbing of companion

By Staff | Jun 20, 2009

A man was arrested and charged in the stabbing death of his companion of four years in their south Cape apartment Friday morning.
Wayne J. Zaleski Jr., 24, has been charged with second-degree murder in the death of 29-year-old Miguel Vandi, Zaleski’s companion and roommate.
The stabbing death occurred in unit 33 of Amherst Manor Apartments where the couple stayed, located at 4808 Atlantic Court, at about 3:05 a.m.
Police said Zaleski told 911 operators Vandi had been stabbed early Friday morning, but initially said he did not know the origin of Vandi’s injuries.
Responding officers said they discovered Vandi’s body in the master bedroom of the couple’s apartment with a stab wound to the side of his body and covered with blood.
Zaleski later admitted to stabbing Vandi during an argument, police said.
Zaleski reportedly said he and Vandi had been drinking at several bars the prior evening, at which point the victim became jealous and went home.
When both men had returned home, Vandi brandished a knife during an argument, at which point Zaleski grabbed the knife and stabbed Vandi, according to police statements.
Vandi’s death marks the third murder in Cape Coral in 2009.
“There’s always arguing over there at night,” said Linda Hines, who has lived across the street from the complex for three years.
Hines said she didn’t know any of the residents, but that there were many late-night arguments on the open stairwells of the complex.
Hines said she wasn’t surprised at what had happened, as the apartment complex had seen a visit from the SWAT Team in 2008.
Due to the blighted nature of the area in which Vandi was murdered, Officer Gerry Moll said the Cape Coral Police Department has been working closely with the community to make the area more livable. It’s something they call the “Weed and Seed” program.
Moll said the department has applied for a federal grant for the program, and already works with community groups, churches and the CRA in their efforts to clean up the area and deter crime.
“There’s a lot of proactive community policing,” he said. “The area needed care, and it still needs care.”
Moll called Vandi’s death “very disappointing and discouraging.”