NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Police have new information about the death of a Staten Island woman.

Twenty-five-year-old Ola Salem’s death was ruled homicide by asphyxiation, according to findings just released by the medical examiner.

Her body was found Oct. 24 in a wooded area of Bloomingdale Park on Staten Island. No arrests have been made in the case.

On the other side of Staten Island, outside Salem’s family’s home in the Shore Acres neighborhood, her mother had no comment.

Salem’s brother only said his sister’s death has been incredibly hard on the family.

“I’ve seen a lot of commotion,” neighbor Emmanuel Triarsi told CBSN New York’s Nick Caloway.

Triarsi owns a house across the street. He said he saw and heard two men and a woman arguing in front of Salem’s home on Deal Court a couple of weeks before her death.

“There were two men. One was really getting a little violent I thought. The other one had to put a stop to his violence or his anger,” he said.

Other neighbors remember seeing police cars in front of the house multiple times in the last year.

Ariminta Williams walks past the family home every day. She says the news of the young woman’s death is terrifying.

“It’s sad. It’s very, very sad,” Wililams said.

Sources say shortly after Salem’s death, her father fled to Egypt. That raised red flags with investigators.

There is also a history of domestic violence between Salem and her ex-husband.

Police say the investigation into her death remains ongoing.

Prior to her death, Salem volunteered at a women’s center, advocating for women who were victims of domestic violence.

Anyone with information is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74682), logging onto the Crime stoppers website at, or by texting tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enterings TIP577.


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