The East Norwich woman found dead in a Bay Shore parking lot last week was a talented singer who taught cosmetology.
Saundra Simonée, who had worked for more than three decades at the Nassau BOCES center, was a teacher for the Barry Tech Cosmetology Program at the Joseph M. Barry Career & Technical Education Center in Westbury, a spokeswoman said Tuesday.
The school issued a statement, which was also posted on the center's website, expressing sadness over the news. The statement said Simonée "shared her beautiful voice" by singing "The Star-Spangled Banner" at Nassau BOCES graduation ceremonies.
"Through the years, Saundra has received accolades by being a very inspiring educator. She will be dearly missed by her students and peers. Our thoughts and sympathy are with her family and friends," the statement said.
Rosemarie Castanza, a friend and former vocal coach and piano accompanist, first learned of Simonée's death on Monday through someone at the career center. Castanza, who said she's known Simonée for more than a decade, described their relationship as a musical one.
"She was just a lovely person and I'm just devastated," she said Tuesday. "Music and singing was really her strong love."
Attempts to reach Simonée's family were unsuccessful. As of Tuesday night, funeral arrangements had not been announced.
Simonée, 59, was found dead Friday morning in a rear parking lot at The Birches apartment complex on South Clinton Avenue.
Suffolk police have determined her death is a homicide but they have not said how Simonée was killed. No arrests have been made.
Detectives are asking anyone with information to call the Homicide Squad at 631-852-6392 or Crime Stoppers at 800-220-TIPS. All calls will be kept confidential.