New video of Marisha Cheong, found dead in Feb. in Breezy Point

New evidence in the homicide case of Marisha Cheong, who went missing last year and was found dead two months later, has police looking for a woman they believe may be connected to the incident.

Police have released new video they believe shows a female suspect leading Marisha Cheong from her home.

Cheong was last seen on Dec. 19, 2013, around 10:40 a.m. An NYPD spokesperson said the new video is from Dec. 19, a little after 11:22 a.m.

In the new surveillance video, apparently taken from a home across the street from the one where Cheong lived with her boyfriend, a woman can be seen walking with Cheong. At one point Cheong appears to pull back and try to walk away, but the woman grabs her and drags her off.

On Feb. 16, 2013, a body that washed up on the shore in Breezy Point was identified as Cheong.

Cheong was found wearing pajama pants and one black Ugg boot that matched the description of a pair of Ugg boots belonging to Cheong that had been reported missing, a law enforcement official said.

According to police reports, Cheong did not have any mental issues and had never gone missing before. She and her boyfriend, 26-year-old Latchman Balkaran, had an argument the night before she went missing, and a law enforcement source said Cheong had told Balkaran in a text message that she wanted to break up with him.

Balkaran reportedly told police the last time he saw Cheong was at 10:40 a.m. on Dec. 19, at their home before he left for work. They had plans to meet at 71st Street and Continental Avenue in Forest Hills that night at 8 p.m., but Cheong didn’t show.

Balkaran walked into the nearby 103rd Precinct the next day at 8:35 p.m. to report her missing.

The NYPD at that time conducted a search of Cross Bay Boulevard from 162nd Street and Cross Bay South to the waterline, involving detectives and personnel from Aviation and Harbor, among other divisions, the law enforcement official said.

A cadaver dog searched the couple’s car and residence, but found nothing, the official said. The car is currently in police custody.

Cheong was found with hemorrhaging on the right side of her neck, a bone fracture in her neck, bruises on her rear right and left hips, and a bruise to her right thigh. Both of her upper arms were fractured. The Medical Examiner was unable to determine initially if the injuries were sustained before or after she died.

The autopsy performed the day after her body was found was initially inconclusive, the official said, but the Medical Examiner ruled the case a homicide three months later, around May 22 of this year.

Police are requesting the public’s assistance in locating this unknown woman in the video, though the video is blurry and they do not currently have a description of her.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS. Tips can also be texted to 274637 (CRIMES) with the message TIP577 or submitted online at WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM.

Follow Danielle Tcholakian on Twitter @danielleiat


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