Woman found dead at bottom of staircase in Brooklyn was strangled, medical examiner says

CROWN HEIGHTS, Brooklyn (WABC) -- The Brooklyn woman whose body was found at the bottom of a staircase with bruise marks on her neck was strangled, officials announced Wednesday.

The medical examiner's office said 22-year-old Tonie Wells died of "homicidal asphyxia including compression of the neck."

She was found unconscious and unresponsive at the bottom of the basement stairs of her home on Sterling Place in Crown Heights on December 27.

Detectives believe Wells was either pushed or fell down the flight of stairs. Paramedics pronounced her dead at the scene.

Wells' young child was also found in the house.

Police said they have a suspect in custody in connection with the case and were waiting for the autopsy results before charging him. There's no word yet if charges will now be filed.

NYPD's response to the initial call to the home is still under investigation, and also led to the suspension of two officers who were called to the house earlier in the day for a welfare check and said they didn't find anything out of the ordinary.

"The entire incident, including any potential communication and response issues, are being reviewed by the department," a police spokesman said.

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