A 69-year-old woman was found strangled and stabbed early yesterday in the bedroom of her apartment in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, the police said.
The victim, Gloria Boney, an immigrant from Trinidad who moved to New York in 1990, was found a few minutes after midnight after two of her daughters, accompanied by the police, unlocked the door of her apartment on Union Street [between New York Ave. & Nostrand Ave.], the police said.
Mrs. Boney, a retired nanny and seamstress, was found facedown, fully clothed, and there were no signs of forced entry or of a robbery or ransacking, the police said.
The apartment was on the second floor of a four-story brick building.
“We don’t know if she heard a knock and opened the door,” said one of her daughters, Maria Boney, 49, of Brooklyn. Ms. Boney said that the family always told her mother, “Don’t open the door before you ask, ‘Who is it?’ ”
The police said that investigators were trying to find a suspect and a motive for the killing.
Maria Boney, a Brooklyn resident, said that her mother spoke every day to her and to her sister who lives in New York, Marlene Boney, 35, of Queens. The daughters became alarmed when they were unable to reach Mrs. Boney on Saturday night, but the key they used to try to open the door to the apartment did not work, Ms. Boney said.
The police arrived and obtained a newer key from Mrs. Boney’s niece, who lived with her on and off, Maria Boney said.
“Thank God the keys didn’t work,” she said. “If they had worked, we would have found the body, and we would have collapsed.”
Mrs. Boney had stab wounds to the head and had been strangled, according to the medical examiner’s office.
A neighbor said Mrs. Boney’s braids had been torn out.
Anna Williams, 32, a child-care worker and a friend of the victim’s daughters, said: “Maybe she knew who the person was. Why else did she open the door? She lived nice.”
Another neighbor, Ann Ahyoung, a retired shipping clerk, said that no one in the building had heard anything during the attack.
The only sign of a struggle, she said, was the victim’s bed. “There was a little messing around with the spread,” Ms. Ahyoung said. “It was not as tidy as she would normally leave it.”
Mrs. Boney’s husband died in 1993 in Trinidad and Tobago. They had seven children, one of whom died of illness in 2003 in Trinidad, Maria Boney said. Three children live in Trinidad and Tobago, where she visited them regularly, and one in Atlanta.
Mrs. Boney’s family and friends described her as a devout churchgoer who attended Sunday services at the Flatlands Church of Christ. “She was a very nice person, very loving, giving person, and a very religious person,” Maria Boney said.
Ms. Ahyoung recalled an encounter with a young man a few weeks ago as Mrs. Boney was on the way to church. “She said, ‘I’m going to church, and I’m going to pray for you,’ ” Ms. Ahyoung said. “He gave her a dollar and said, ‘Would you put this in the collection box for me?’ She said, ‘I’ll put it in for you.’ ”