Nassau Police: Merrick Homicide Not Random Attack

A 48-year-old Merrick woman found dead Wednesday night in her home does not appear to be the victim of a random attacker, a high-ranking Nassau County police official said.

Police said the victim’s concerned father found her lying unresponsive in an upstairs bedroom and then called 911. The father went to check on his daughter, whom he had not heard from since Tuesday evening, when she declined an invitation for dinner with her parents, police said.

When police arrived to the Smith Street home at around 6:35 p.m., the victim, Suzanne Goldfarb, was dead.

At a press conference at police headquarters in Mineola Thursday, Chief of Detectives Kevin Smith said there was indication that Goldfarb was bound, but he did not say if she was tied to the bed.

The Nassau County Medical Examiner’s office determined she had died of asphyxiation, Smith said. He did not say if any instruments were used in the attack.

Goldfarb had lived alone at the house for about five years, according to police.

Smith said there was no indication of forced entry. He noted that all doors leading outside were locked and no windows appeared to have been disrupted.

“The likelihood of a random attack lessens greatly under these conditions,” Smith explained.

Investigators suspect the attacker may have been welcomed inside or may have had a key to the entrance.

Goldfarb last spoke to her parents at 8 p.m. on Tuesday. Smith said he did not know much about the conversation other than that Goldfarb had declined dinner.

Smith attempted to calm the nerves of some residents worried about the safety of the community.

“We are exploring every scenario,” he said.

Given that the windows and doors to her house were not tampered with, and that the neighborhood has not been stricken by burglars, investigators have theorized that this was not a random act.

Smith noted that there were no history of 911 calls to the home.

Goldfarb worked as a babysitter in another community, Smith said.

When asked why the father would be concerned after going only 24 hours without hearing from his daughter, Smith said: “Apparently they spoke a lot, they were close.”

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Rashed Mian has been covering local news for the Long Island Press since 2011. He graduated from Hofstra University in 2010 where he studied print journalism. Rashed, the staff's multimedia reporter, covers daily news for the web, shoots/edits feature videos and writes about civil liberties. He loves Afghan food and sports. Rashed is also a caffeine freak. Email: rmian@longislandpress.com. Twitter: rashedmian