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Further toxicology and tissue testing will be performed to figure out how the woman, said by police to be a Hispanic in her 20s, died, the spokeswoman said.
The police have not yet released the woman's name but said she was wearing tan denim shorts, a white T-shirt and white sneakers. She was discovered unconscious Sunday at 4 p.m. on 44th Avenue between 60th and 61st streets after apparently being dropped off there by two men, police said. Upon their arrival, paramedics declared her dead. There were no signs of trauma, police said.
Witnesses told detectives they saw two white men, as yet unidentified, get out of a large, dark-colored vehicle with the woman at the corner of Queens Boulevard and 60th Street in broad daylight, police said. As the car drove away, the two men took the woman to the spot where she was later found before walking east on 44th Avenue and disappearing, police said.
It was unclear if the woman was still alive when the men took her out of the car and whether she walked on her own or was dragged or carried. Police did not comment on the exact circumstances nor did they disclose how or if the car's driver was involved. As of Tuesday, no arrests had been made in the ongoing investigation and the death had not been ruled a homicide, police said.
As neighbors gathered early Saturday evening to watch members of the medical examiner's office take the body away, some speculated that the dark car was a livery cab and that the woman had been left after overdosing on drugs.
"One of the paramedics took a look at her and said, 'She's a user,'" said Mike Murphy, who was waiting to remove his car from behind the yellow crime scene tape.
"This is the most isolated street there is," another man said of the surrounding blocks, although he declined to give his name. "Whoever did this knows this area very well."
The woman's body was found next to a fence on a sidewalk near parked cars, and when the Olive sisters came to drive away their new SUV, they lit a candle at the site and doused their vehicle with holy water from a Catholic church. Their actions, they said, were both to purify their SUV and to bless the woman.
"Just for her to rest in peace," Elizabeth Olive, 34, said.
Other residents described their block as a quiet and leafy enclave and were stunned by a discovery they called bizarre.
"What are they going to drop off next?" asked George Bitados, a 39-year-old maintenance engineer.
Police asked anyone with information about the incident to call Crimestoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS.
Reach reporter Michael Morton by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 154.
©2004 Community Newspaper Group
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