Written by Ronald Scaglia, Rscaglia@antonnews.com Friday, 01 March 2013 00:00
The body of a woman found Feb. 14 in an unoccupied home on Ocean Avenue has been identified as 60-yerar-old Irene Luetje, known to her family as Renee, according to Nassau County police.
Police responded to a call at 27 Ocean Avenue around noon and discovered the body. Det. Lt. John Azzata, commanding officer of the Nassau County homicide squad, reported that Luetje was found wearing a black jacket, black Capri pants, a black pullover shirt and silver shoes. Her purse, which contained money, was found with her, as was her driver’s license. What is not clear is how Luetje ended up more than five miles away from her apartment at 124 West Drive in North Massapequa, where her car was still located. The landlord of the home had a conversation with Luetje at 11 a.m. on January 6. Azzata said that is the last time Luetje was seen alive. Police are hoping someone may have spotted Luetje after Jan. 6 and will come forward.
“We’re looking for any and all answers because everything is a mystery to us,” said Azzata. “Right now everything is a possibility and that why were trying to enlist the public’s help.”
At press time, police do not have any evidence of criminality in the case, although they are waiting for the results of the autopsy as well as the toxicology results, which Azzata said could take up to six weeks. They have also not yet determined a cause of death, pending the results of the medical examiner’s report.
The detective said that friends and colleagues have told police that Luetje was known to take long walks and that the outfit she was found in was among her favorites. He added that Luetje had no prior contact with police and that she was only known to be taking medication to control hypertension. Luetje was reported missing by sister on January 12.
The identification of Luetje brought sadness to the campus of Farmingdale State College where she worked as an administrative assistant to the executive assistant to the president. Spokesperson Kathy Coley had high praise for Luetje.
“Irene was a valued member of the community and she will be missed,” said Coley. Coley said that Luetje’s final day of work was Dec. 21, the last day before the holiday recess. She was scheduled to return on Jan. 6, the last day that Luetje was seen alive. When she didn’t come to work, Coley said that university police went to her home, and that university officials have reached out to her family.
To honor her memory, Coley said that a poetry award would be renamed in her name. A multiple-cultural committee presents the award to students for their work.
Police are asking that anyone with information, please call 1-800-244-TIPS.