NEW YORK – A body hidden inside a Manhattan high-rise where a cleaning woman vanished four days ago was found Saturday morning.
Police spokesman Paul Browne said the corpse was found just before 9 a.m., stuffed in an air conditioning duct in a utility room on the 12th floor of the tower where Eridania Rodriguez vanished Tuesday.
Police had searched the office building from top to bottom every day since Rodriguez disappeared, but hadn't turned up anything. Investigators had been sure, though, that she had not walked out alive.
The building is in a high-security zone next to ground zero. Cameras cover every door. They recorded Rodriguez entering the high-rise and working part of her shift Tuesday, but didn't show her leaving.
Authorities didn't immediately confirm the identity of the corpse, but it was presumed to be Rodriguez, who was 46 and lived in Manhattan. She was married with several children.
Police have no suspect in her disappearance.
Before the discovery, dozens of police officers with search dogs, including bloodhounds, convened at the Rector Street tower for yet another comprehensive search of the massive building.
The building has 26 stories and more than 400,000 square feet of interior space and plenty of places to hide, including some floors that were empty and a sub-basement partially flooded with water.
Investigators had traveled Friday to a landfill in Pennsylvania where the building's garbage is taken, on the chance that someone had taken her body out with the trash.