NEW YORK – The New York Police Department identified an Arab American woman found dead in a Staten Island park last week as 25-year-old Ola Salem.
Salem was found by a jogger near the side of the road in a wooden park last Thursday morning.
Salem’s body did not show any obvious signs of trauma, though sources told The New York Post that it appeared she had been dragged 30 feet into the woods.
A GoFundMe page was set up in Salem’s name by the support center for victims of domestic violence where Salem actively volunteered. The Asiyah Women’s Center is a New York-based shelter that provides support to Muslim victims of domestic violence.
“She was a committed volunteer and passionate about alleviating the pain of domestic violence survivors,” a statement by the shelter said. “She volunteered in our center for months, often assisting with the intake process.
“She was a beacon of hope and positivity for many. We can still hear her infectious laughter emitting through our walls and we are envisioning her presence with us. Simply put, she brought joy to everyone she interacted with.”
The GoFundMe has a goal of $20,000 to support the shelter.
The medical examiner’s office is yet to determine the cause of Salem’s death, though an autopsy was conducted on Friday.
The Post also reported that sources had previously said Salem herself had a protective order against her husband, though it is not clear if he is being looked at as a suspect.
So far, no arrests have been made in the police’s investigation.