Teen Rape Victim's Body Lingered in Morgue

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
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    The girl's body was misidentified for a month.

    Officials say a 16-year-old girl whose misidentified body languished in a New York City morgue for a month while her family searched for her was raped, and her death has been ruled a homicide.

         Tiana Rice was reported missing when she didn't return from a friend's home Dec. 30. Police had responded that night to a call of a young woman suffering an asthma attack at a Brooklyn home, and EMS pronounced the girl dead. It was Tiana, but she was mistakenly identified via the driver's license of a previous resident of the apartment, who is still alive.
        
    An anthropologist later realized Tiana's body didn't match the age of the person on the driver's license.
        
    The body was identified a month later, after the anthropologist pored over missing-person records.
        
    Meanwhile, Tiana's parents and other family members frantically searched for her.
        
    Her father identified her body Feb. 3. Authorities initially believed she died from an asthma attack, police said.
        
    On Friday, the news for the family got worse: The medical examiner's office ruled Tiana's death a homicide and said she died of cardiopulmonary arrest and acute bronchial asthma brought on by being restrained and sexually assaulted.
        
    Police said a 911 call came in from a pay phone not far from where her body, clad only in socks, was discovered. It was unclear whether she had meant to go to the abandoned home.
        
    No arrests have been made.