Medical Examiner: Young Joo Byun, 42, Had Been Strangled

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The family of a Queens woman is desperately searching for answers after she was found dead in the trunk of a car only a mile away from her job.

Police found the body Young Joo Byun around 3 p.m. Monday concealed inside her blue Honda Civic near 61st Street and Queens Boulevard in Woodside, Queens, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said.

“She was in the trunk of a car covered with trash bags,” Kelly said.

The medical examiner’s office said the 42-year-old mother of three had been strangled.

Her husband and children, ages 15, 14 and 7, said they don’t know how they’ll live without her.

“She was always happy and if we fought with her she would always give up and always forgive us,” said Byun’s daughter Michelle Cha.

Young was last seen leaving work at a Korean bakery in Maspeth around 4 a.m. Friday. Her husband reported her missing when she didn’t make it home.

“She left with a significant amount of baked goods,” Kelly said. “The speculation is she was meeting somebody and I can tell you that the investigation is going forward aggressively.”

Investigators have interviewed Young’s co-workers and are now combing through her phone records hoping to turn up a lead.

“My mom is very quiet with what she does,” Michelle Cha said. “My dad doesn’t know who would hurt her and why.”

Police questioned Young’s husband, Jae Yun Cha, but cleared him after several hours. He said they were divorced, but were reconciling.

“He doesn’t want to believe what happened to my mom,” Michelle Cha said. “It’s like really hard for him to understand what happened.”

Police sources told CBS 2 they are also looking to question a possible boyfriend.

“We’re looking at several aspects of the case at this point,” Kelly said.

Police said they are also checking for surveillance video in the area of where her body was found.

The investigation is ongoing.

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