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Troy — A 53-year-old man has been charged in the fatal stabbing of a neighbor in his apartment building which police believe was related to a larceny.

The victim, identified only as a 37-year-old mother, was found dead and lying on the floor of her Somerset Apartments home on Golfview Street about 5:15 p.m. Monday, Troy Police Sgt. Meghan Lehman said.

“Two elementary aged children returned home from school and could not get into their apartment,” Lehman said. “The victim did not answer the door or telephone.

“Another neighbor called for medical assistance after looking through the window and seeing her lying motionless on the floor inside.”

The Oakland County Medical Examiner’s Office ruled the death a homicide, caused by the stabbing. It is the city’s first homicide of the year, Lehman said.

Charles Anthony Stephens was arraigned Wednesday afternoon before Troy 52-4 District Judge Clement Waldmann for felony murder. Lehman said the victim’s identity is being withheld pending notification of her husband, who is returning home on an international flight from Korea.

Waldmann denied Stephens bond and ordered him remanded to the Oakland County Jail pending a March 31 probable cause hearing before District Judge Maureen McGinnis. A preliminary exam in set for April 7.

Lehman said Stephens — suspected in several area larcenies — was viewed as a suspect by police Monday because they have had multiple contacts with him.

Stephens was under surveillance by police before being taken into custody at 9:30 p.m. Tuesday in Detroit, Lehman said.

“Evidence connected to the larceny and the death have been recovered,” she said. “The motive for the killing may have been that she caught him committing a larceny.”

Troy police thanked several area police agencies for help in solving the crime.

Troy recorded only one homicide in 2015.

mmartindale@detroitnews.com

(248) 338-0319

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