Woman found dead in Staten Island woods ruled homicide

STATEN ISLAND (WABC) -- The death of a young woman found dead in the woods in Staten Island has been ruled a homicide.

Ola Salem, 25, was found dead in Bloomingdale Park late last month.

"I would say everyone keeps to themselves, but I would say our house were friendly," one neighbor said.

By all accounts, Salem was strong. Her father and brother are boxers, and she fought for women as a volunteer at a domestic violence center in Brooklyn.

"She makes you feel that love from her, because she's just so positive," Asiyah Women's Center co-founder and executive director Dania Darwish said. "She's always wanting to give and never asking for anything in return."

But neighbors near her family's home on Staten Island said they became concerned past few weeks.

"The only thing I know police coming a few times in this house, that's all I know," a neighbor said.

Emmanuel Triarsi, who lives across the street, said he witnessed an argument spill out onto the front lawn between two men and a woman at the beginning of October.

"I thought it was going to escalate to real violence, physically," he said. "How do you stop a guy that's in a rage from beating up a woman? So I thought I would call the cops."

A few weeks later, Salem's body was discovered in the park around 9:30 a.m. on October 24. She was strangled.

So far, no arrests have been made in the case.

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