Murder in Harlem: The Death of Nursing Student Alayna Hardy
She had a restraining order against her ex-boyfriend but that wasn’t enough to protect her
Alayna Hardy, age 27, and Fernando Munera, age 26, were neighbors who both lived in the same apartment building in East Harlem, New York. The apartment was located on E. 115th street and First Avenue in New York. Alayna lived on the top floor while Fernando lived on the first floor.
Sometime in 2020, the two neighbors who lived in the same Harlem apartment started dating each other. The relationship would turn out to be short-lived and volatile.
Fernando and Alayna had very different personalities. Alayna was friendly and described as a kind and loving person by her family. She was a nursing student at Hunter College and was planning on completing her Bachelor’s degree. She had a lot of friends and a zest for life.
On the other hand, Fernando was jealous and controlling. He displayed abusive tendencies and had started to become reliant on prescription medication and alcohol.
Fernando tried to control Alayna. He pressured her to end her relationships with her friends. He would even answer her phone and keep tabs on her wherever she went.
Fernando and Alayna’s relationship became toxic. They would soon get into a pattern of breaking up and then getting back together again. At times, the relationship was so volatile and Fernando’s anger issues would get out of control that police were called at least five times to Alayna’s apartment over domestic violence incidents.
In February 2021, Fernando went berserk in an incident that would cause Alayna to seek a restraining order against him. Fernando and Alayna got into a fight where Fernando restrained Alayna, locked her up in her bedroom, and took her phone away from her. He also vandalized her apartment. Alayna managed to escape and contacted the police about the incident.
Fernando was charged with imprisoning Alayna, harassing her, and causing property damage. The judge on the case also issued a temporary order of protection against Fernando that would forbid him from contacting Alayna even though they both lived in the same building.