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Death Of Astoria Woman Ruled A Homicide

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The death of a young woman found in her Queens apartment Sunday night has been ruled a homicide.

The medical examiner says Carmen Saldana-Mundo, 23, died of asphyxiation.

Officers say they responded to a 911 call at a home on 30th Avenue and 48th Street in Astoria Sunday night where they found the victim unconscious in her bed.

EMS was called to the apartment, but she was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police say no arrests have been made. The police commissioner says the young woman was last seen alive leaving a party Saturday night. Her mother called her cell phone Sunday and the male who hosted the party answered. He is not being considered a person of interest.

Relatives say the Fashion Institute of Technology student was home alone in the second-floor apartment since Friday, while her mother was away working for the weekend. When she returned, her mother found her daughter's naked body in her bed.

"In the first room of the apartment, it was Carmen lying down on the bed with a blanket covering her body, and she was naked," said the victim's uncle Juan Guerra. "She was naked. And the face, it looked so bad, because we're thinking maybe she got punched in the face a few times, before or after she got raped, I don't know."

Saldana-Mundo is the youngest of three children. Family members say her parents are distraught.

"Of course they're devastated," said Ali Rodriguez, the victim's cousin. "They are heartbroken. They don't know how life is going to be after this."

"Everyone is shocked because she was a really nice girl," said Guerra. "She was not looking for trouble."

Saldana-Mundo was studying advertising and marketing at FIT. The school released a statement calling her a "vivacious young woman and a dedicated student."

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