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Long IslandCrime

Arrest made in ‘suspicious’ death of female found in Baldwin, cops say

Nassau Police investigate the scene where a body

Nassau Police investigate the scene where a body was found behind a row of stores on Merrick Road on Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2016 in Baldwin. Credit: Howard Schnapp

A Baldwin man has been arrested and charged by police in the death of a woman or girl whose body was found Wednesday behind a Baldwin restaurant, police said.

Raphael D. Oyague, 36, has been charged with second-degree murder and will be arraigned Thursday in First District Court in Hempstead.

Officers responded to a 12:48 p.m. 911 call reporting the discovery of the body in the rear of a building on 97 Merrick Road, police said.

A strip of two-story buildings line the section of Merrick Road where the body was discovered.

No other information about the victim or how she died was available Wednesday night.

Danny, a 24-year-old man who declined to give his last name, said he was the first person to spot the body while delivering supplies to an Italian restaurant on Merrick Road.

A hood covered the face of the victim, found in a grassy area near the rear of the restaurant, Danny said, adding that he and other workers initially thought the body was a mannequin.

He said one of the other workers called 911.

“There was blood on the hood and her hands,” Danny said in an interview on Snapchat, a social media application.

Word of the discovery spread quickly among other workers and residents in the area. Several said they then went to the spot and saw the victim up close.

The victim appeared to be in her late teens or early 20s and wore a brown coat that ended at her waist, witnesses said. The coat was zipped up, they said, and obscured most of her head, which was covered in blood.

Charles Harris, 46, manager at Baldwin Lanes, a bowling alley near where the body was found, said he was walking to the pizza shop when he heard about the discovery.

“I was startled. She was half-clothed with her pants down,” Harris said. “Something happened to her. She didn’t just fall like that. It’s upsetting. I’ve got daughters that age. Young.”

After Nassau police arrived, they put yellow crime scene tape up and homicide investigators combed the area for clues. The body remained at the scene early Wednesday night.

Chief of Detectives Kevin Smith would not comment on any aspects of the investigation.

Detectives request anyone with information regarding the above crime to contact Nassau County Crime Stoppers at 800-244-8477.


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