Elderly sisters found dead in apartment: NYPD

A member of the NYPD's Crime Scene Unit heads into the building where the women were found dead. Photo by Christina Santucci
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Police are investigating the deaths of two elderly sisters, who were found on on the floor of the apartment they shared in Forest Hills Wednesday, according to the NYPD.

Officials said the superintendent at 70-20 108th Street was called to apartment 10E because the tenant below complained about a leak and a foul odor.

When the super went inside the apartment, he found Ilene Roth, 79, and Leah Roth, 88, on the floor, the NYPD said. There was no sign of trauma or forced entry, according to police.

A woman who lives in the building said she believe the sisters had lived there at least 10 years and described the woman as inseperable and nearly identical in appearance, despite the nine-year age difference. The resident said the Roth sisters could have been mistaken for twins.

A doorman at the building said he was aware of the deaths, but could not comment.

Posted 2:54 pm, October 4, 2012
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Reader feedback

Dawn from Forest Hills says:
I knew the Roth sisters well. They lived in The Continental building for more than 30 years. I know because Ilene Roth was a teacher who I met 30 years ago when I moved into the building. The sisters were inseparable, traveling and working together for decades even after Ilene left teaching to write ad copy and jingles with her sister for large ad agencies in NY.

They were witty and warm and kind to children, though never had children or married themselves. I for one will miss them, and while here they are merely a story of two bodies found dead in an apartment, to me they will always be just as lovely as they were, and Ilene an individual who encouraged me as a youngster to write. I figured it only fair to write here to tell you just a bit of who they were, for they simply deserve that much, and it seems fitting I be able to write, in Ilene's honor, to tell you. RIP Ilene and Leah!
Oct. 4, 2012, 5:24 pm
Dan from Durham, NC says:
Leah & Ilene were my mom's cousins. I hadn't seen them in about 10 years. Among other things, they were good friends with Les Paul. When I saw them last, we went together to see Les Paul play and then hung out with him til the wee hours of the morning.
Oct. 6, 2012, 7:47 am
Jessica from Brooklyn says:
My name is Jessica and I'm a student at Columbia University's journalism school. I'm interested in writing a story about Leah and Ilene's lives. If you have memories you'd like to share, including the remembrances above, please email me at
Oct. 9, 2012, 10:37 am
Antonia J. Martinez from Westchester says:
Memorial Gathering for Ilene and Leah Roth
Saturday, November 17, 2012
2:00 – 3:30 p.m.
Where: P.S. 174 (use main entrance), Dieterle Crescent, Rego Park, New York 11374
RSVP to or
Oct. 14, 2012, 9:02 pm

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