A check of dental records by the Suffolk County medical examiner’s office has confirmed that a body found hanged in a wooded area of Sagaponack last month was that of Lilia Aucapina, a mother of two who had been missing since Oct. 10, police said Wednesday.
The body of Aucapina, 40, was discovered Nov. 21, in a wooded area not far from her home. Southampton Town police spokeswoman Lt. Susan Ralph said she was positively identified and said an autopsy indicated her death was noncriminal.
An attorney for the woman’s husband last month told Newsday that authorities believed the body was that of Aucapina.
A native of Ecuador, Aucapina had been the subject of an intense search by police, and her family had made many appeals to the public, including news conferences and the distribution of fliers, in hopes of finding her alive.
Police said last month that she was last seen walking west on Montauk Highway in Wainscott the morning of Oct. 10 after a confrontation with her brother and her estranged husband, Carlos Aucapina, in the parking lot of the Meeting House Lane Medical Practice.
Just before that confrontation, Aucapina’s brother and husband had seen her walking with a man they were not familiar with, leading to a tense conversation in the parking lot, according to a Colin Astarita, a lawyer for Carlos Aucapina. “I think there may have been an emotional content to that meeting,” Astarita said last month.
Carlos Aucapina was arrested shortly after the disappearance, charged with violating an order of protection previously obtained by his wife. Astarita said at the time that his client was questioned by police about the disappearance, but maintained his innocence.
According to Astarita, it was later learned that Lilia Aucapina, who was involved in her church, had texted her son, 21, and daughter, 14, shortly before she died, saying to them in Spanish something to the effect of “Remember that Mommy always loves you.”
With Will James