Woman Found Dead in Rockaways Had Two Broken Arms, Sources Say

By Nicole Bode and Murray Weiss  on February 21, 2013 5:16pm

 Marisha Cheong and L.J. Balkaran dated for five years. She disappeared in December. Her body was found floating in Rockaways marshland on Saturday.
Marisha Cheong and L.J. Balkaran dated for five years. She disappeared in December. Her body was found floating in Rockaways marshland on Saturday.
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Courtesy of L.J. Balkaran

NEW YORK CITY — The 24-year-old college student found dead in a Breezy Point marsh last weekend had two broken arms — possibly from a fall from a bridge into Jamaica Bay, sources said Thursday.

It was not immediately clear whether Marisha Cheong, who was found bound at the wrists and ankles, had water in her lungs, indicating if she were alive when she was in the water, sources said.

Sources said investigators are poring over surveillance video taken from the Marine Parkway Bridge, which connects the Rockaways to Marine Park, Brooklyn. They are attempting to enhance the video, but the cameras were damaged during Hurricane Sandy, sources said.

Cheong went missing Dec. 19, sparking a 2-month manhunt by her family. They created a Facebook page and offered $5,000 for information on her whereabouts.

The victim's relatives said they believed her live-in boyfriend might have been involved in her death. But sources said as many as two people may have been involved in order to lift her body over a bridge barrier into the water.

The boyfriend, L.J. Balkaran, was questioned and released twice in connection to Cheong's disappearance and death, but is still considered a person of interest in the case.

Balkaran, a delivery man and an aspiring Bollywood film director, told police he was making a delivery when Cheong went missing.

The city's medical examiner has not yet determined a cause of death.

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