Funeral To Be Held For Murdered Juilliard Student
To view our videos, you need to
install Adobe Flash 9 or above. Install now.
Then come back here and refresh the page.
The Juilliard student whose body was found in a Manhattan park a week after she disappeared will be laid to rest in New Jersey Wednesday.
The death of 21-year-old Sarah Fox has prompted calls for increased security in parks and in her neighborhood.
The drama student at the prestigious performing arts school never returned after apparently leaving her apartment for a jog in nearby Inwood Hill Park on May 19. Her body was discovered in the park last week, and the medical examiner concluded she was strangled. No arrests have been made, and the motive remains unclear.
Fox's neighbors gathered at a community meeting Tuesday night to voice their concerns.
“You cannot patrol Isham Park from a car,” one woman told officials. “You cannot patrol Inwood Hill Park from a car. The undergrowth, particularly now, is too dense to see and patrol anything with a car.”
At a news conference at City Hall earlier in the day, the group New Yorkers for Parks and the union representing the Parks Enforcement Patrol, known as PEP, called on the city to double the number of officers.
“There are other tragedies that are going to happen unless we get more enforcement into the parks,” said Mark Rosenthal of the union, Local 983 of District Council 37.
PEP officers do not carry guns, but they have the power to make arrests and write citations. They are mainly in charge of writing quality of life summonses for things like littering, dogs off leashes and dog waste. The police precincts that parks are in have responsibility for public safety.
The Parks Department says it spends $$10 million a year on some 80 PEP officers, and there are also 43 deployable urban park rangers with similar authority.
“When we see crimes happen, whether in Inwood Hill Park or Prospect Park, people get scared,” said Christian DiPalermo of New Yorkers for Parks. “Statistics show crime is actually going down in parks, but perception matters. People perceive that parks are unsafe.”
In 29,000 acres of parkland, less than 1 percent of major crimes in the city were committed there in the last two years.
“Most parks are safe,” said Mayor Michael Bloomberg. “This is one tragic incident, and the important thing is to find who is responsible and put that person away and lock them up.”