55-year-old woman found murdered in Newark apartment

NEWARK, New Jersey (WABC) -- A 55-year-old woman was found dead of apparent blunt force trauma inside her Newark apartment Saturday afternoon.

Nellie Marquez's body was discovered in her residence in the 100 block of Dayton Street.

She was pronounced dead at the scene at 3:21 p.m.

An autopsy will determine the cause of death, but the preliminary investigation indicates she died from blunt force trauma.

Marquez was well known because she served on the board of the tenant association. She lived by herself, but her friends and neighbors kept a close eye on each other. So residents believe the person responsible for the crime had her trust.

"She was a beautiful person," friend Kevin Newton said. "She's from New York. She worked her whole life, loving and caring. I loved her."

Many residents say they saw and spoke to the victim just hours before she was apparently beaten to death. Most of her injuries were said to be around her head and face.

The head of the Newark housing authority visted with residents Monday to listen to concerns about safety in light of this tragedy.

"This is a very isolated incident," Victor Cirilo said. "As you can see, this complex is very secure. We have guards on the first floor. We have cameras all over the complex. And that's why we're confident that whoever was responsible for this action will be brought to justice."

A family member who was concerned about Marquez went to her apartment and found her unconscious and unresponsive. There were no signs of forced entry.

No arrests have been made, and no suspects have been identified.

Anyone with information is urged to contact the Essex County Prosecutor's Office Homicide/Major Crimes tips line at 1-877-TIPS-4EC or 1-877-847-7432.

The investigation is active and ongoing.

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