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National Briefing / New York

Victim was bound and gagged

July 13, 2009|Times Wire Reports

A woman found dead in a Manhattan skyscraper where a cleaning woman had vanished days earlier was bound and gagged and had a gold crucifix taped to her mouth, police said.

The body was found Saturday after blood was discovered leaking from a ventilation shaft, police spokesman Paul Browne said. The body hasn't been identified, but police presumed it was that of Eridania Rodriguez, 46, who hasn't been seen since Tuesday.

An autopsy determined the dead woman was asphyxiated by tape applied to her head and face, according to Ellen Borakove, spokeswoman for the medical examiner's office.

The woman's hands were tied behind her back, and her feet and mouth were bound, Browne said. The crucifix was dangling by her mouth, he said, but it was unclear whether a necklace had been caught underneath the tape.

"We haven't determined whether the crucifix ended up there incidentally or intentionally," he said.

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