Police searched Sunday for the body of a woman whose 4-year-old daughter was found abandoned on a city street, and said they were considering how to tell the girl that her mother is dead.
Authorities have been unable to find 26-year-old Monica Lozada-Rivaineira since her daughter was discovered crying and shivering on a street in Queens. The girl told neighbors her father left her there and drove away.
Cesar Ascarrunz, 32, was charged Saturday with murdering his live-in girlfriend. Police say Ascarrunz killed Lozada-Rivaineira and dumped her corpse in a pile of trash on a Queens street corner.
Police were led to Ascarrunz by tips from the public after 4-year-old Valery Lozada appeared on TV on Thursday. The child, her hair in pigtails, described her mother as looking "like a princess." Police ultimately used records from Valery's day care center to identify her mother.
"This child has captured the hearts of all New Yorkers," said District Attorney Richard A. Brown. "I hope she can grow up to lead a normal life."
Child welfare officials took the unusual step of putting her on television hoping that would produce more information about her identity, reports the AP.
Photo: the AP P.T.