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Video Shows Person of Interest in College Student's Disappearance: NYPD

By Aidan Gardiner | October 17, 2013 11:35am
Marisha Cheong Footage
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NYPD & Family Handout

QUEENS — New surveillance footage shows a mystery woman leading a college student — who was later found killed in Breezy Point — away from her Jamaica home and police are looking to question her as a person of interest. 

Marisha Cheong, 24, was found dead in a Breezy Point marsh Saturday, Feb. 16. The medical examiner's office determined on May 6 that she died of "homicidal violence of an unknown type."

The Long Island University student's body was so badly decomposed that investigators couldn't make a more accurate determination as to how she was killed and few answers have emerged in the months since her death.

"It's frustrating. I don't know anything," the woman's mother, Bibi Ali, said in May. "You wake up every morning and you don't know what's going on. Why did your child disappear? It's so hard for me."

The grainy footage shows Cheong leaving her home with the unknown woman and then being lead away by the arm. Police said the other woman is a person of interest.

Cheong disappeared Dec. 19, prompting her mother to send a desperate flurry of text messages to her daughter.

The last message sent to Ali from Cheong's phone read, ""mom am fine. I just need Little time to think. Am good."

Relatives described Cheong's live-in boyfriend, L.J. Balkaran, as controlling. He was initially a person of interest, but was questioned and released because he had an alibi, sources said.

Balkaran said he had planned on proposing to his girlfriend and that her death devastated him.

"I really want to know what happened to my daughter and why it’s taking so long. That’s all, really," Cheong's mother said. "If the public can help, if they know anything, they should come forward."

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS (8477).