Woman's body found in trunk of car abandoned on Queens street

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Wednesday, March 10, 2021
Woman's body found in trunk of car abandoned on street in Queens
Stacey Sager reports on the disturbing discovery in Wakefield.

WAKEFIELD, Queens (WABC) -- The body of a woman who has been missing for four months was found in the trunk of a car in Queens Wednesday morning.

Authorities say the vehicle was parked on Lefferts Boulevard in South Ozone Park with no license plates and was being towed when the body was discovered.

The victim was confirmed to be 26-year-old Destini Smothers, of Troy, New York, who was last seen on November 3. She went missing after celebrating her birthday at a bowling alley in Woodside.

Her devastated family members showed up at the scene, saying they learned on social media of the grisly discovery in the trunk of the black Toyota -- a car that was all too familiar to them.

They say it belonged Smothers' boyfriend.

"He has some involvement, because that was his car," aunt Tima Fowler said. "That was the car he was driving. The car went missing, she went missing, so it all points to him."

Police say they'll explore all leads.

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Heather Elvis was a hostess at a restaurant in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. She was last seen on Dec. 17, 2013, and her car had gone unattended for hours before it was reported to the police.

The boyfriend told the family that Smothers, a mom of two young boys, got out of the car 34th Avenue after the two got in a heated argument.

"He actually got into my car and took it and took me where he said she jumped out in Astoria," Fowler said. "He sat in the back behind me. I don't know how he did that."

The tow truck operator made the discovery while searching for a spare tire jus before 10 a.m.

"Upon opening the trunk, the operator observed a deceased individual positioned on their side," NYPD Assistant Chief Ruben Beltran said.

Smothers' family, however, is just trying to grasp the end result of four painful months spent searching and hoping.

"She have two boys at home that were waiting for her," cousin Johann Daily said. "We know we were going to find her. I just didn't think we was going to find her like this."

The investigation is ongoing.

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