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A New York City woman who plunged six stories to her death last month, and who police initially suspected had jumped, was actually strangled, beaten, and thrown from her apartment, allegedly by her boyfriend, authorities now say.
Danielle Marrano, 37, was found unresponsive and lying on the pavement outside her Queens apartment building shortly before 3 p.m. on Oct. 26, according to a New York City Police Department press release. She was later transported to Jamaica Hospital where she was pronounced dead.
However, an autopsy confirmed Marrano had died from “unnatural blunt force,” which wasn’t consistent with her fall. She suffered four skull fractures, fractured her ribs and humerus, and had cuts around her armpits, according to court documents, the New York Daily News reported. Sources also told the newspaper she had been thrown from a balcony or a window.
“The Medical Examiner has determined that the victim's injuries were not caused from a fall from an elevated height but from unnatural blunt force trauma and has deemed the death a homicide,” NYPD Det. Sophia Mason told Oxygen.com.
Her boyfriend, Shmuel Levine, 34, was arrested and charged with murder in connection to her death, police officials confirmed Tuesday. The Queens man is also facing robbery and assault charges.
Levine allegedly confessed to Marrano's murder while being questioned by investigators, claiming he flew off the handle and assaulted her after the 37-year-old admitted to being unfaithful, according to the Daily News.
“I had no clue that she was in a volatile relationship,” Marrano’s neighbor, Jane Lake, 52, told the newspaper.
However, others in the neighborhood who knew Levine alleged he had a mean streak.
“He had a loud car, like a hot rod, he would run this thing at like four and five in the morning,” Phillip Melfi told New York Daily News. “One day my wife confronted him. He got out of the car, he said 'I’m going to tear you limb from limb.'”
The alleged encounter also terrified the elderly man’s wife.
“He was very scary, and after that brief encounter we got very scared,” Mary Melfi said.
Marrano’s funeral was held in Brooklyn on Monday. Her family memorialized her in a 15-minute video, which accompanied an online obituary. She would have celebrated her 38th birthday later this month.
“My daughter was a beautiful bright shining star,” her mother, Karen Marrano, told the Daily News. “She loved her family and her friends and her brother very much. She loved to dance and travel.”
Former family neighbor Lynn Rapaglia also described Marrano as "great girl."
“It’s so difficult," she told the newspaper. "I knew her my whole life.”
Rapaglia said her ex-neighbor was a talented athlete, too.
“She was very into sports,” she added. “She used to play softball as a kid. She was pretty good at it, too.”
Levine is being held without bail, according to the Daily News.
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