Woman's Body Found on Mott Haven Rooftop

By Dan Rivoli and Patrick Wall  on September 21, 2012 12:29pm  | Updated on September 21, 2012 3:19pm

MOTT HAVEN — A woman’s body was found on the roof of a Mott Haven public housing building Friday morning, the NYPD said.

The unidentified woman, who appeared to be in her late 30s or early 40s, was discovered about 8 a.m. on the roof of the Patterson Houses, at 308 E. 145th St. between Third and College avenues, police said.

Officials have not yet determined how long the woman’s body was on the roof or whether criminality was involved. Her body showed no obvious signs of trauma, cops said.

Residents said police began knocking on their doors late Friday morning to inform them a “young woman” had been discovered on the roof. Officers later said the woman was older than they initially believed, according to several tenants.

On Friday afternoon, clusters of residents and neighbors from nearby buildings sat on shaded benches outside the 13-story tower, which faces a playground and a small Roman Catholic church, St. Rita of Cascia Shrine.

Several residents said they feared for their safety after hearing the alarming news and agreed to speak on the condition that they provide only partial names or initials.

Rosie, 43, lives on the building’s 10th floor with her two teenage daughters. As soon as she heard about the discovery of the woman’s body, she called her girls to make sure they were safe.

“We shouldn’t have to live like this,” she said.

M.G., 32, who lives in another Patterson building on East 145th Street, said security throughout the complex is lacking.

"In the whole development we have no cameras,” she said. "None of the doors are locked. You can just walk right in."

Several tenants complained about people who they say congregate on the benches outside the building at all hours openly using drugs.

“These dope addicts shoot up every day out in the open and no one does anything about it,” said N.L. Smith, 78, who has lived in the complex for decades.

He said he often encounters strangers wandering around his building.

"Nobody's safe,” in the development, he said. “It gets worse and worse.”

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