VALLEY STREAM, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — The grieving mother of a Queens woman whose remains were found washed ashore over the weekend doesn’t believe her daughter’s boyfriend is telling the truth and wants to hear from him directly.
Marisha Cheong, 24, disappeared without a trace on December 19 — just before Christmas. She had been living in Queens with her boyfriend LJ Balkaran in Jamaica.
Cheong’s body washed up near Breezy Point. She was dressed in her pajamas and her hands were bound, CBS 2’s Tony Aiello reported. The cause of death, however, remains unclear.
“She was always colorful, vibrant and to us she is irreplaceable,” said the victim’s cousin Aundrey Azeez.
Cheong’s mother Bibi Ali said she spoke with her daughter every day and is devastated that her daughter has been found dead.
“Whoever did this to her, they need to pay for what they did,” Ali told CBS 2’s Aiello. “I don’t want to believe it, I’m still hoping someone’s gonna call and tell me it’s a dream.”
Ali said she identified clothing and jewelry that belonged to her daughter on Saturday night.
Ali told reporters, including 1010 WINS’ Juliet Papa that her daughter’s boyfriend has given four different explanations as to when he saw Cheong last.
“I want to see him face to face to tell me what he did with her,” Ali said.
Balkaran admitted he argued with Cheong on the morning she disappeared, telling police she texted him to get her at a Forest Hills subway station, but she never showed.
When asked by CBS 2’s Tony Aiello on Jan. 13 is he had anything to do with her disappearance, Balkaran denied any involvement.
“Oh no. No. Just now, just finding her, that’s all we care about,” he told Aiello. “My whole life is around that. Nothing else matters in my life at this point, but finding who did this.”
But Balkaran said the two argued that day.
“We had an argument – text argument that day – but I don’t know what happened,” he told Aiello last month.
Cheong’s family is not convinced the boyfriend is cooperating fully.
“You live with somebody, you eat and drink and sleep with them, you have to know something. He has to know,” Bibi Ali said.
Cheong‘s cousin said that Balkaran didn’t like his girlfriend going anywhere by herself.
“He was just a little bit too obsessive,”the cousin said.
As Ali now tries to figure out what happened to her daughter, she said she’s haunted by a text message she received right before Cheong disappeared.
“‘Mom I’m fine I just need a little time to think.’ She don’t usually talk like that she usually says mommy,” Ali told Aiello last month.
Family and friends also said they were wary of the tweets she sent on the day she went missing. They said the posts did not sound like her.
No arrests have been made in the case.
Cheong’s family is begging anyone with information to step up and share it with police.
Cheong was a student at LIU-Brooklyn. Her family is from Guyana and funeral arrangements are on hold while relatives arrange to travel to New York.
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