Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Unidentified Homeless Woman Found Bludgeoned to Death in Queens' DeMutiis Playground, Cops Say by Wil Cruz and Katie Nelson - NY Daily News

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The body of an unidentified woman, who lived in the Police Officer Nicholas DeMutiis Playground in Queens, was found by a homeless man Monday morning. Savulich/News

A homeless woman was found bludgeoned to death Monday in a playground next to a Queens police precinct, cops said.

The unidentified woman, believed to be in her 50s, spent most of her days on a bench in the Police Officer Nicholas DeMutiis Playground, which is next to the 106th Precinct in Ozone Park, police and neighbors said.

Her body was found on one of those benches by a homeless man, who reported it to cops about 9:30 a.m.

Investigators believe the woman was beaten to death with a hard object, and a rock found at the shady green scene
was sent for testing. The time of death was unclear, but the NYC Medical Examiner's office scheduled an autopsy for Tuesday.

The woman's belongings, which she kept in a grocery hand cart, were found strewn around the benches.

Everything about the scene was distressing, said Simoa Santiago, 32, who has lived in the area for six years.

"I would see her almost every day," said Santiago. "She always minded her own businesses."

"There are always a lot of children and families around so generally this feels like a very safe place, so I was really surprised and sad when I realized what had happened. She has been here for so long. She's a fixture.