Reyna Angélica Marroquín (December 2, 1941 - January 1969) was a woman from El Salvador who was murdered in New York, after immigrating to the United States. Her mummified body remained undiscovered for thirty years.

Case

Marroquín's remains were discovered inside a 55-gallon barrel in the crawlspace of a home in Nassau County, New York, when a resident and his friend opened it, nine years after purchasing the house. The remains had been mummified by the fluid contained in the barrel, which were visible immediately.

After the autopsy, the body was estimated to belong to a woman of European or Hispanic ancestry, who was carried a near-term male fetus. She had suffered blunt-force trauma to the head. She was killed by the previous owner of the home, Howard Elkins, with whom she had an affair with while she was employed at his artificial plant factory in the late 1960s.

It is believed Elkins murdered Marroquín after she informed his wife about the pregnancy. Elkins concealed her body in the barrel, and filled it with fluid and plastic pellets, which unexpectedly made it nearly impossible to transport. As a result, he left it in the crawl space, where it went undisturbed for over thirty years.

Additional photograph

A pocketbook found with her remains was dehydrated, and writing it contained the address of Marriquín's friend, who had not relocated after the murder. After police questioned Elkins at his new home in Florida, he shot himself after denying involvement. His DNA matched the fetus found with the remains, proving he was the father of her unborn son.

After her identification, Reyna Marriquín's body was returned to El Salvador for burial. Her mother was still alive at the time, and she had never known the fate of her daughter after she left the country to start a life in America in 1966. Her family appealed to the public of El Salvador after they lost contact with her.

Media

  • Marroquín's case was detailed in a 2000 episode of Forensic Files titled "A Voice from Beyond"
  • Her case was also covered in a 2002 episode of Cold Case Files titled "The Barrel"
  • The New Detectives also profiled the case.


Sources

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