Mystery lingers after woman's body found stuffed in duffel bag inside NYC apartment

Josh Einiger Image
Monday, March 18, 2024
Mystery lingers after woman's body found stuffed in duffel bag inside NYC apartment
Josh Einiger has the latest on the investigation after a woman's body was found stuffed inside a duffel bag in her Manhattan apartment.

KIPS BAY, Manhattan (WABC) -- The police were gone from 206 East 31st Street on Friday evening, but the mystery lingers - along with the fear, amid word the suspicious death of the woman in Apartment 19A has officially, been ruled a homicide.

"I've been here 22 years. We've never had an incident like this," said building superintendent Jean Pompee.

Pompee, who has been a longtime super in the building still cannot believe the grisly discovery of Nadia Vitel, 52, who was stuffed in a duffel bag in a closet and signs, Pompee says, of what could have been a struggle in the apartment - a wall smashed in.

Pompee says he helped her son and other family members enter the apartment after they could not reach her. Once inside, they spotted the duffel bag and called the fire department.

"And he directed them to the closet cause all the clothes had been pulled down. And he said there was a bag underneath it and he said, 'uh can you open the bag because I believe there's a body in there. They did, and they acknowledged that there was and they called the police," said Pompee.

On Friday, the Medical Examiner determined the cause of death was blunt force trauma to the head.

The story seems to start on Sunday when the super says cameras outside and inside capture two suspicious men going in and out, up and down from the 19th floor, seeming to wait for the victim. The victim eventually would come home on Wednesday, and cameras capture her going up to her apartment, 18A.

Shortly after that, also on Wednesday, the two men left for the last time. Cameras capture them exiting the building and walking to Vitel's car, which was parked on 31st Street - they got in and drove away.

Mariana Stojkovic lives a few doors down from the crime scene, and she says she heard unusual banging from the trash chute.

"I was very upset when I heard yesterday, no one deserves to die like that," Stojkovic said.

Police spent all night Thursday and much of the day on Friday sifting through trash and collecting surveillance video, which so far they have elected not to release - as they try to piece together a murder mystery in 19A.

ALSO READ | Man accused of squatting in Queens home faces judge, promises 'revelation' in case

7 On Your Side Investigative reporter Dan Krauth has the story.


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