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Long IslandCrime

Manorville farmworker strangled co-worker, Suffolk police say

A woman whose body was found in a wooded area in Manorville was strangled, and her co-worker at a nearby farm has now been charged in her murder, Suffolk police said.

Faustino Marquez-Cruz, 27, was arraigned Friday afternoon on the charge of second-degree murder. He was remanded without bail, according to court records. His attorney could not be reached for comment Friday night. Marquez-Cruz, who was arrested Thursday, has his next court hearing Wednesday, records said.

Police said the body of Carmelina Maria Velasquez-Zhau, 37, was found less than a mile from Cosmos Farm, in an area east of Winding Path, Suffolk police said. Velasquez-Zhau and Marquez-Cruz lived and worked at the farm, police said.

A home health aide out jogging discovered her on July 30 and called the police around 10:43 a.m., police said.

What roles Velasquez-Zhau and Marquez-Cruz carried out at the farm was not released. Representatives for Cosmos Farm could not be reached for comment.

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