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Long IslandCrime

LI crime briefs

PATCHOGUE / Awaiting toxicology report

An autopsy has revealed a preliminary cause of death for a Patchogue woman whose body was found in the woods, police said Friday, but they would not detail what pathologists found except to say they're awaiting toxicology test results.

Nicole Tessa, 31, was reported missing from her home after what her husband said was a fight between the newlyweds. Police have said her death was the result of a homicide.

It was not immediately clear Friday when toxicology results would be available. A police spokesman said no further information was available yesterday.

Tessa's husband, Joseph Jones, 28, has said he left their house after a fight and that Tessa was gone when he returned. He reported her missing last Sunday.

Tessa's body was found Tuesday in a patch of woods near her Prince Street home.

- MATTHEW CHAYES


CENTRAL ISLIP / Guests allegedly stole gifts

Two men repaid a Central Islip family's hospitality by breaking into their house and stealing Christmas presents, Suffolk County police said yesterday.

Police said Edynson Linares, 17, and Danery Zembrano, 21, both of Brentwood, were the last guests to leave a Christmas Eve party at a Church Street home. They returned before 5 a.m. Christmas morning and stole the presents, according to police, but didn't bother to cover their tracks: wrapping paper and boxes matching the stolen presents were later found outside Zembrano's house.

Both men were charged with burglary and are scheduled to be arraigned today at First District Court in Central Islip.

- NICHOLAS SPANGLER


ROOSEVELT / Home sprayed with gunfire

Bullets sprayed a Roosevelt house early yesterday morning, though no one inside the home was hurt, Nassau County police said.

Detectives from the Baldwin-based First Squad are investigating whether the gunfire was random, whether the Westfield Avenue home and its 46-year-old female resident were targeted, or whether the shooting was intended for someone or someplace else, a police spokeswoman said Saturday.

Police said the woman inside the home was awakened by the gunfire.

Eleven bullet casings were found in the street in front of the home following the 2:27 a.m. shooting. The house sustained minor damage.

A dark-colored vehicle with tinted windows was seen driving southbound on Westfield after the shooting, police said.

Police heard about the shooting after someone called 911 and the police department's sonic gunshot detection system, called ShotSpotter, alerted authorities to the gunfire.

No one has been arrested. Detectives asked anyone with information to call the police CrimeStoppers hotline: 800-244-TIPS.

- MATTHEW CHAYES


EAST MEADOW / Fire destroys vacant house

A vacant house stuffed with debris in East Meadow burned so fiercely 100 firefighters from five departments could not save it last night.

Firefighters responded to a call at 7:27 p.m., said Chief David Marschall, of the North Bellmore Fire Department. But by the time they arrived, the house at 2563 Tonquin St. near the intersection with Midvale Avenue was consumed by fire, with flames shooting 40 feet into the night sky.

It took firefighters 25 minutes to get the fire under control, Marschall said. He added that once it was established the house was unoccupied, there was little that could be done to save it. Efforts then focused on containing the blaze, he said.

A neighbor, Phil Wakefield, said the house had gone into foreclosure recently. He described the former owner as a man in his 60s who also owns the property adjacent to the house that burned last night. The man had resided in the adjacent property, Wakefield said.

Marschall and two neighbors said there had been a minor fire last week at the adjacent property.

Fire marshals were at the scene investigating the cause of last night's fire, Marschall said.

- NICHOLAS SPANGLER

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