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National Briefing / New York

Not-guilty plea in skyscraper killing

July 19, 2009|TIMES WIRE REPORTS

A handyman at a skyscraper near the World Trade Center pleaded not guilty to charges he murdered a cleaning woman and hid her body in the ventilation system.

Prosecutors say Joseph Pabon, 25, snatched the woman July 7 as she worked on an empty floor in the 26-story office building. They say he smothered her with tape, hid her body in an air conditioning shaft, then told his manager he was ill and went home.

Eridania Rodriguez, 46, was reported missing within hours of her disappearance. Police searchers found her body four days later.

Prosecutors say flesh under her fingernails contained Pabon's DNA.

A Manhattan judge ordered Pabon held without bail.

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