The body of Marisha Cheong, missing since December, was found Saturday morning along Jamaica Bay at 149 Bayside Avenue in Roxbury, police said. Her grieving mother is now demanding answers. News 4's Lori Bordonaro reports. (Published Monday, Feb 18, 2013)
The grief-stricken mother of a 24-year-old missing woman whose body was found washed up on a Queens beach is looking for answers in the death of her daughter.
The body of Marisha Cheong was found Saturday morning along Jamaica Bay at 149 Bayside Ave. in Roxbury, police said. She had been missing since December.
"She didn't deserve this," said Cheong's mother, Bibi Ali, as she cried Monday. "They threw her away like trash."
Cheong's hands were tied up, sources said.
Cheong was living with her boyfriend, Latchman Balkaran, in Jamaica, Queens, when she went missing Dec. 19. Balkaran told NBC 4 New York the two had been looking forward to the holidays and that she had left their home to go shopping when she disappeared.
"It's just very hard to imagine what could have happened to her," he said. "I just don't know what person or human being would do that to someone."
"She was everything to me," said Balkaran. "My family loved her like a daughter. My sister loved her like a sister."
Balkaran said he was about to propose to Cheong, after five years of dating. But her mother painted a different picture of her daughter's longtime boyfriend, saying they had financial problems and that she was suspicious of him.
"He has to know what he did with her," she said. "Only he can tell me what he did with my daughter."
Balkaran responded: "I didn't have anything to do with her death. I am as lost as much as they are. They know how much I loved her."
Ali said police are looking into some text messages, including one sent by Cheong to her mother the day before she disappeared.
"I knew in my heart it wasn't her," said Ali. "She doesn't say 'Mom.' She usually says 'Mommy.'"
The medical examiner is still working to determine the cause of death. Police said they have questioned Cheong's boyfriend and her family, and the investigation is ongoing.
Published at 8:00 AM EDT on Feb 18, 2013