The discovery of Laura Garza

April 26, 2010 1:38:40 PM PDT
I'm trying to get my head around what the family of Laura Garza must be feeling today. The remains of the 25-year-old from Brooklyn, who disappeared a year ago last December, were positively identified today in a town just outside Scranton, Pennsylvania.

A watch that her family says belonged to Garza was found near the body when it was discovered two weeks ago.

What a horrible end she must have suffered, and what a tortuous 16 months for her family.

Garza was last seen leaving a nightclub in Chelsea with a man authorities discovered was a convicted sex offender. He's been behind bars since then on other violations - but not on charges related to Garza. At least not until now. With the discovery of a body, that might change.

When Ms. Garza disappeared, her family from Texas came here, helping cops look for her. Cops were looking in several locations for her - all to no avail.

Her body was discovered April 11 in Mt. Cobb, Pennsylvania; but it wasn't until today that cops confirmed the remains are indeed hers.

We're following the latest developments in the case, and getting family reaction. Lucy Yang is covering the story for us tonight at 11.

We'll also have the latest in the U.S. Senate investigation into the giant investment firm Goldman Sachs. Their preliminary look will be released tonight and suggests that Goldman helped create the housing bubble by selling risky subprime mortgages, and then made profits off the bubble's collapse by secretly betting against the market. Charming.

And Nina Pineda tonight has the story of a local woman who won big on the TV show "Let's Make A Deal." But when it came time to collect, she came up short, until she contacted Nina and got 7 On Your Side.

We'll also have any breaking news of the night, plus Lee Goldberg with his AccuWeather forecast, and Scott Clark with the night's sports. I hope you can join Liz Cho and me, tonight at 11.

Before I close here - I asked for your responses last Friday to Mayor Bloomberg's plan to shut down 34th Street between Herald Square and The Empire State Building, and make yet another pedestrian mall. Interestingly, the Mayor wants to now add another one - on Broadway between 17th and 18th Streets, just north of Union Square Park.

Here are some of your comments:

From Colette C Kidd of Brooklyn: "I like 34th street the way it is!! Isn't Broadway enough???"

Debra Greif of Brooklyn: "It is not a good idea what our Mayor is proposing. The traffic that will be diverted to other streets will cause massive delays and cause more pollution. I also do not feel it will help disabled New York residents; if they need their car or access a ride to pick them up, where and how will this be done? What a waste of tax dollars."

Jean Dilucca of the Bronx says that the Mayor should "leave the streets to the traffic -- for trucks to make deliveries - and sidewalks for pedestrians only. Bloomberg better put his brain to better use or turn it to Einstein labs."

Teresa Reeves of Manhattan writes, "Bill, when I first heard of this idea of the pedestrian walkways, I thought it was a horrible idea. I recently had family from Canada come and visit my home in Manhattan and when I took them sight-seeing, we were able to stroll along Broadway without the fear of being hit by a car. I loved it! Skeptic turned supporter here!"

And Marc Klein of Brooklyn opines that "I think opening up more streets to pedestrians would be great as it would lessen traffic on already crowded city streets. Also, on those nice beautiful summer nights, you can just sit, eat and enjoy the beauty around us."

As always, thanks for your feedback and opinions.

BILL RITTER


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