NEW YORK – Police believe that a cleaning woman who vanished from a Manhattan high-rise may be dead, that her body was dumped in the trash and that she could turn up in a Pennsylvania landfill.
"We have reason to fear the worst," Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said.
A search of the high-security building has failed to turn up any witnesses or clear evidence of a crime.
But police say they suspect foul play because Eridania Rodriguez, 46, left behind her purse and other personal belongings and had not contacted loved ones since her disappearance midway through her shift on Tuesday evening.
A lawyer for her family, Daniel Ferreira, said Rodriguez had been complaining about a man in the building who made her nervous. She often worked on empty floors, he said.
Police were still searching basement floors of the high-rise at 2 Rector St. on Friday. Detectives also had been dispatched to Keystone Sanitary Landfill in Dunmore, Pa. — the landfill used by the building's garbage collector — to look for a body.
Rodriguez was last seen around 7 p.m., when security cameras recorded her pushing a cart into an elevator. There was no footage of her leaving the office tower near the World Trade Center site, police said.
Security in the building is typical for the financial district: Employees need identification cards to enter. Security cameras cover every entrance and many public areas. Every visitor is photographed before they are allowed up from the lobby.