UPDATED: Police ID victim in Monday night stabbing in Niantic, make arrest

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East Lyme — Town police have charged a 28-year-old East Lyme man with murder in Monday night's fatal stabbing of a 25-year-old East Lyme woman at the Starlight Inn in Niantic. 

Police said the stabbing happened around 10:30 p.m. Monday at the motel, 256 Flanders Road.

On Tuesday afternoon, police said they had charged Avery Hallbrooks, who they said was found in the inn and was in a dating relationship with the victim. Hallbrooks was taken to the Waterford Police Department where he was held on a $1 million bond pending his appearance Wednesday in New London Superior Court, police said.

Police identified the victim as Corina Zukowski, 25, of East Lyme.

Responding to a report of a disturbance at the motel, police found Zukowski suffering from multiple stab wounds, according to the police report. She was taken to Lawrence + Memorial Hospital by Flanders Fire Department, where she died of her injuries, police said.

K-9 teams searched for a person seen leaving the motel area.

Town police, the state police Major Crime Squad, the New London State's Attorney's Office, a Waterford police K-9 Unit, and a state police K-9 unit searched the surrounding area, police said.

“Corina was a very loving and caring person and would go out of her way for anyone at anytime without any questions," Catherine Kane, a friend of the victim, said on behalf of friends of Zukowski. "She was the first person to make you laugh when all you wanted to do was cry. She’s touched so many lives and will forever have touched everyone’s heart.”

The motel until recently had been operating as an Americas Best Value Inn. Before that it was known as the Starlight Motor Inn.

Records show the property belongs to Star-Inns LLC. Amul Patlikh is listed as principal.

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