Woman goes missing in Manhattan

July 9, 2009 4:06:06 PM PDT
Police are searching for clues in the mysterious disappearance of a mother in Lower Manhattan. When she didn't get off the train and didn't walk through the front door, her family knew something was very wrong.

Eridania Rodriguez, 46, was last seen by her family on Tuesday afternoon.

Eridania Rodriguez, 46, punched in for work at 2 Rector Street around 5 p.m. She donned her blue uniform, chatted with other after-hours employees and was last seen on security cameras around 7 p.m., according to a lawyer for her family, Daniel Ferreira.

Then, she disappeared.

The building's cameras never recorded her leaving the skyscraper. She didn't meet up with co-workers for her regular subway ride home to Manhattan's Washington Heights section. Her purse and street clothes remained in her locker.

"It's hard. I'm scared and nervous. People say think positive. Everything can come out good, but it's a guy. We don't know if she got raped or something," her daughter Yaniris Figueroa said.

Her daughter was referring to a man who her mother believed stalked her. He is a man who also worked the night shift at the Rector Street office building.

"He used to look at her weird. When she was cleaning, he would just stare at her. She would call me or my sister and said stay on the phone with me. She was scared," Figueroa said.

Police questioned that man along with several of the Inwood woman's cleaning service co-workers.

Investigators combed the building, screened surveillance video and carried sledged hammers inside the financial district building Wednesday night.

Security in the building is typical for the financial district. Employees need identification cards to enter. Security cameras cover every entrance and many public areas. Every visitor is photographed before they are allowed up from the lobby.

Officials at the company that operates the building, Stellar Management, declined to comment.

Built in 1909, the skyscraper has more than 400,000 square feet of interior space and rises 26 stories. Besides Studio Daniel Libeskind, the building's tenants include the architectural firm NBBJ, several law firms and, until recently, a division of the city's transportation department.

The grandmother of three, Rodriguez is also the sister of Victor Martinez, a top-ranked professional bodybuilder.

"People say that nobody knows what happened to her. Somebody has to know something," Figueroa said.

Now her three kids and husband leap at every phone call and screen every voice message. With every telephone ring and every door knock, they don't know if police will deliver good or bad news.