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Motive unknown in death at Ridgewood multiplex

“We have not narrowed down the search. We...

By Brendan Browne

Police were still investigating several leads in the murder of a Ridgewood movie theater cleaning lady, who was beaten to death last week inside the building, said Lt. John Perdoch of the 104th Police Precinct.

“We have not narrowed down the search. We are still working numerous leads,” said Perdoch, who urged anyone with information on the case to call the 104th Precinct or the city’s Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS.

Perdoch did not name any suspects or motives.

Guadalupe Hernandez, 42, was murdered as she worked at the Queens Circuit Ridgewood Fiveplex at 55-27 Myrtle Ave. early in the morning July 17, according to police.

Hernandez, who lived in Ridgewood with her husband, died from head trauma she suffered from being struck with a blunt object, Perdoch said. She was found by two porters who were also working in the theater at about 2:30 a.m., he said.

Hernandez would come in at the end of the evening along with the two porters to clean the three-story theater, which has five screens. Workers at the scene several hours after the murder said it was not unusual for the three-person crew to be spread out across the theater as they cleaned, leaving each alone.

Since the theater is locked and gated after the last movie is let out, Hernandez’s co-workers speculated last week that an assailant must have been let in the facility or was hiding in one of the five theaters after closing time.

Co-workers said Hernandez has at least two children and is of Mexican descent. Her husband works at a movie theater in Jackson Heights. They remembered her last week as a friendly and considerate woman.

“Everytime I came in she would open the door for me,” said George Tapia, an usher at the theater for the last three months who cried when he heard the news. “She would ask me about my day and everything. She was just very sweet,” he said.

Jsenia Rodriguez, who sells tickets at the theater, said Hernandez was friendly and very quiet.

On Friday, all box-office proceeds from the theater will be donated to Hernandez’s family, said a spokesman for the Ridgewood Fiveplex.

Reach reporter Brendan Browne by e-mail at Timesledger@aol.com or by phone at 229-0300, Ext. 155.

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