Family's search for missing Queens woman concludes with discovery she died at nursing home

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Friday, March 22, 2024
Exclusive: Missing woman discovered dead at nursing home
CeFaan Kim has the exclusive interview with a family friend and elected official who were able to find her whereabouts.

FLUSHING, Queens (WABC) -- Smack dab in the middle of downtown Flushing, Queens is a shopping plaza where shoppers will find a jeweler and herbs.

Tucked away in the back is Judy Tailor, where 68-year-old Xiuping Shen, a well-known seamstress, famously worked before she vanished sometime in November.

"She's famous for her job," said Harriette Lo of Tianjin Commerce Association. "People say a year, 365 days, she's been working 364 days."

Shen's family is all in China, and after not being able to reach her for two months they contacted Lo, who got the police involved.

In mid-January, they found her at NewYork-Presbyterian Queens Hospital.

"I talked to her doctor," said Lo. "The doctor told me about her situation there. And the doctor said she'll be ok. Maybe next week she will discharge."

Shen had been sick for a while with kidney failure.

She was discharged a week later, but no one was able to find her.

"They cannot tell us anything because we are not the emergency contact person," said Lo.

Harriette enlisted the help of State Assembly Ron Kim, who was able to convince the hospital that the family authorized him to speak on their behalf.

The hospital told him Shen had been discharged to a nursing home.

However, when they got to the facility, they discovered she had passed away in their care on Jan. 29.

"Harriette went there to try to get more information," Kim said. "They wouldn't communicate with Harriette."

Shen's cause of death was kidney failure.

Given the news, the family is now working on coming to the US to close the loop on these frantic couple of months with a proper burial.

"Just when we called them it was at that time period where they were about to dispose the remains at a public cemetery," said Kim. "We were able to intervene and through Harriette and her people remove the remains to a local funeral home as our office is expediting their visas from abroad to come here to have a proper funeral and then take the remains back to China."


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