Reyna Marroquin was Murdered to Conceal an Affair with her Employer
Nine months pregnant, Reyna had been beaten to death and hidden in a barrel, then stored in a crawlspace for over thirty years.
On September 2, 1999, Ronald Cohen and his family were moving out of their home at 67 Forest Drive in Jericho, Long Island. This included completing some final requests for the next owner: Hamid Tafaghodi. The main task was the removal of a fifty-five-gallon oil barrel that was tucked away in a crawl space underneath an addition made to the home. The barrel had been there since Cohen had moved into the home. After hauling it out of the basement, he had left it to be picked up by sanitation workers, but they had left it behind with a note saying that the well over three hundred pound drum was too heavy for them to take.
Cohen decided to open the container to examine its components for dumping and was surprised to find a hand and women’s shoe sticking out of plastic pellets and a strange green liquid. He called the local authorities immediately.
The body inside had been mummified due to the airtight seal on the drum. An autopsy revealed that the victim was a woman between the ages of twenty-five and thirty, who had died roughly thirty years ago from blunt force trauma to the head, and was either Caucasian or Hispanic.
They also found that the unknown woman was nine months pregnant with a baby boy. The medical examiner noticed that she also had dental work done that was not typical for the U.S. She had two gold crowns and that led him to believe she had likely been from somewhere in South America.
Along with the body, plastic pellets, and green ooze, the drum had contained a badly damaged pocketbook, a note, an address book, a plastic flower stem, some rings, and a locket that had “To Patrice, Love from Uncle Paul” engraved on it.
The note and address book were in poor condition and unreadable. They were sent to a forensics lab to be dried and examined using a video spectral comparator, which manipulates light to make writing on paper that is no longer visible to the naked eye readable.