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Killer Strangled Cousin, Tied Up Body Then Texted Her Son, 14, Pretending to Be Her


NEW YORK (MDAO) – Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, Jr., announced the sentencing of Khalid Barrow, 23, to 25 years-to-life in state prison for killing his cousin, Nisaa Walcott, and hiding her body for days while he stole her money, used her East Harlem apartment, and impersonated her in order to conceal his crime. On November 29, 2023, a New York State Supreme Court jury found Barrow guilty of Murder in the Second Degree, Concealment of a Human Corpse, Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree, and Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the Fourth Degree.

“The defendant’s criminal conduct was an unspeakable betrayal,” said District Attorney Bragg. “Khalid Barrow strangled his cousin in her own home, all for his own financial gain. I am amazed by the resiliency of Nisaa Walcott’s family members, who have persevered through the horrific murder of their loved one by her own cousin. They attended the trial every single day, listening to incredibly disturbing testimony. No sentence can undo this family’s pain, but I hope they continue to heal from this terrible loss.”

As proven at trial, on February 16, 2022, Barrow intentionally asphyxiated his 35-year-old cousin, Nisaa Walcott, in her East Harlem apartment where he was staying. After he killed her, he bound her ankles with a wifi cord, hid her body inside a plastic tub lined with fabric scraps, and placed the tub in a storage room before scouring the apartment with bleach. In order to evade detection, he immediately began impersonating Nisaa in text messages he sent to her 14-year-old son from her phone. He repeatedly manipulated her son through these texts, including to ask for her EBT account’s PIN and to tell him to leave the door unlocked. He also impersonated Nisaa in texts to her coworkers and other relatives, hoping that no concerned parties would come to the apartment.

On February 18, 2022, Barrow attempted to rent a car to take Nisaa’s body upstate but was unsuccessful. Instead, he moved the plastic tub with her body to the roof of her apartment building. For days, he used Nisaa’s credit cards and financial accounts to purchase marijuana, drinks and food.

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On February 23, 2022, concerned about Nisaa’s safety, a relative asked Nisaa to send him a photo so he knew she was okay. Barrow, using Nisaa’s phone, replied with an old photo that the relative recognized. The relative contacted Nisaa’s son, whom Barrow – still impersonating Nisaa – instructed to say that everything was fine. The next day, after realizing that no one knew where Nisaa was, family members reported her missing at PSA 5 and the 23rd Precinct.

On February 24, 2022, police officers spoke with Barrow in connection with the investigation into Nisaa Walcott’s whereabouts. Hours later, early in the morning of February 25, 2022, BARROW took the tub with Nisaa’s body to the Highbridge section of the Bronx and left the container on the sidewalk. That afternoon, Nisaa’s body was discovered.

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