The 27-year-old woman found dead in her bed with a scarf wrapped around her neck in Manhattan last week was strangled, and the medical examiner has ruled her death a homicide, officials said Monday.
Brooke Garcia, mother of a 4-year-old girl, was found underneath a white blanket on her bed in the Wald Houses at 10 Avenue D in the East Village Jan. 4. She was declared dead at the scene.
The medical examiner's office said Monday she died of ligature strangulation, meaning a cord-like object was used to choke her. It's not clear if the scarf was believed to be the murder weapon. No arrests have been made in the case.
Garcia's next-door neighbor, Delia Cancel, said she saw the young woman in the hallway the day before she was found dead.
"Now to find out she's gone, it's horrible," she said.
Another neighbor, Katy Hernandez, said, "We were here, I was with the dog, and not even she heard anything. Nerve-racking to know it was right there."
Oscar Ruiz, a friend of Garcia, described her as "a real quiet person. She was cool. Always to herself."
Ruiz said she cared deeply about her child.
"That's all we used to do, was talking about her daughter. About change, basically, that's what it was all about, is change," he said.