Windsor Terrace is pouring their hearts out to the memory of a beloved merchant found murdered in her 10th Avenue dry cleaners last week.
Days after Kyung-Sook Woo was found strangled to death inside Eden Dry Cleaners and Tailoring, residents are still flocking to the shuttered business, leaving flowers, sorrow-filled notes and teddy bears.
“You were like an aunt to everyone,” one note taped to the metal roll down gate read. “My heart is heavy with sadness.”
“Thank you for being such a kind neighbor,” another note read.
As this paper went to press, residents said that they were preparing a small memorial service for Woo on Thursday, May 22, in front of the dry cleaners that she and her husband operated for many years.
“Everybody liked her in the neighborhood,” longtime customer George Diamantkos told reporters. “She was really nice and quiet. A nice lady.”
Neighbors are also expecting to participate in a meeting with police from the 72nd Precinct to determine if the Windsor Terrace murder is systemic of a larger problem in the neighborhood.
“This was an incident involving someone right in our community that a lot of people had contact with and built a personal relationship with,” said Councilmember Bill de Blasio, who is sponsoring the meeting with the 72nd Precinct. “It was unexpected and violent and gave people a real sense of vulnerability.”
“At first no one knew if this was a sign of something bigger or an isolated incident,” he continued. “We’re happy that this isn’t connected to anything else.
At the meeting, de Blasio expected to “talk about the need for the community to become more involved and report what they see. Developing a working relationship with the police is very important.”
While some have claimed that Windsor Terrace is usually ignored by the 72nd Precinct, which focuses its energies on Sunset Park, de Blasio said that area cops have done a “good job in showing a clear policing presence in the area of late.”
Residents said that they are taking some comfort in the fact that the person responsible for the killing has been apprehended.
Police said that 22-year-old Jamal Winter, a resident of 14th Street, was apprehended a day after he killed Woo and took her car, a 2008 white Honda Accord.
Cops said that they were called to the dry cleaners at 8:30 a.m. on May 16 when concerned family members went searching for the Queens woman, only to find her face down in a rear bathroom. She had been strangled to death.
Neighbors shocked by the news said that they thought something was wrong when they saw someone other than Woo close up the dry cleaners for the night.
Cops created a sketch of the male, who was later identified as Winter.
Prosecutors allege that Winter was seen inside of the dry cleaners with Woo at 4:30 p.m. the night before her body was discovered.
Roughly three hours later, area residents hoping to pick up their dry cleaning found Winter inside. He told them that Woo had gone and that the store was closed.
He was then seen lowering the security gate and rolling off in Woo’s car, according to a complaint filed with the Kings County District Attorney’s office.
Police said that they lifted a print off a bottle found inside the dry cleaners that was identified as Winter’s.
When cops went to question Winter they found him in possession of Woo’s car, officials said. He was immediately charged with murder and robbery.
Prosecutors said that Winter, who served five years in prison for an armed robbery in Dutchess County and had been arrested exactly one year earlier for holding up an auto repair shop on 16th Street just blocks from the dry cleaners, was remanded to custody following his arraignment, officials said.
Winter is expected to return to court in the next few weeks, officials said.
©2008 Community Newspaper Group
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