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The grief-stricken mother of a 24-year-old missing woman whose body was found washed up on a New York City beach is looking for answers in the death of her daughter.
The body of Marisha Cheong was found Saturday morning along Jamaica Bay at 149 Bayside Avenue in Roxbury, Queens, police said. She had been missing since December.
"She didn't deserve this," said Cheong's mother, Bibi Ali, as she cried Monday. "They threw her away like trash."
Cheong's hands were tied up, sources said.
Cheong was living with her boyfriend Latchman Balkaran in Jamaica, Queens, when she went missing Dec. 19. Balkaran told NBC 4 New York the two had been looking forward to the holidays and that she had left their home to go shopping when she disappeared.
"It's just very hard to imagine what could have happened to her," he said. "I just don't know what person or human being would do that to someone."
"She was everything to me," said Balkaran. "My family loved her like a daughter. My sister loved her like a sister."
Balkaran said after five years of dating, he was about to propose to Cheong. But her mother painted a different picture of her daughter's longtime boyfriend, saying they had financial problems and that she was suspicious of him.
"He has to know what he did with her," she said. "Only he can tell me what he did with my daughter."
Balkaran responded, "I didn't have anything to do with her death. I am as lost as much as they are. They know how much I loved her."
Ali said police are looking into some text messages, including one she received from her daughter the day before she disappeared.
"I knew in my heart it wasn't her," said Ali. "She doesn't say 'Mom.' She usually says 'Mommy.'"
The medical examiner is still working to determine the cause of death. Police said they have questioned Cheong's boyfriend and her family, and the investigation is ongoing.