Police are wasting no time in their investigation of the murder of Eridania Rodriguez, found stuffed in a ventilation duct of the Rector street building in which she worked as a cleaning lady. She had gone missing during her Tuesday night shift. Rodriguez was apparently smashed in the head, and was found with her limbs bound and her head wrapped in construction tape; she is thought to have still been alive when thus deposited, and to have suffocated. Though their person of interest in the crime, Staten Island’s Joseph Pabon, who operates a freight elevator in the same building and left work early that same day, did not at first show signs of concern — spending part of the weekend at the beach and an amusement park with his girlfriend — cops confiscated his car at the park and took him in; his lawyer claims rough treatment and compares him to wrongly accused Atlanta Olympics bomber Richard Jewell. Police are seeking an explanation of the scratches on Pabon’s arms. Rodriguez had told a friend that one of the Rector Street employees had exposed himself to her, though it is unclear whether or not she was talking about Pabon.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on July 13, 2009