Murder of Reyna Marroquin

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The murder of Reyna Angelica Marroquin occurred in 1969 in Nassau County, New York. The crime was not discovered for at least 30 years after its occurrence. Howard Elkins, a local businessman, was identified as the prime suspect, though he committed suicide before he could be charged or thoroughly questioned.

The investigation was described on The New Detectives, Season 6, Episode 11.


In September 1999, a house in Nassau County, New York was purchased. Its new owner removed a 55-gallon drum that had been seemingly abandoned in the crawl space, and after opening the drum, discovered human remains.


Investigators carefully examined the drum, carefully removing the unidentified body, which they determined was a Hispanic female in her 20s who was pregnant. In the drum were a lot of other objects besides the body that were useful in identifying the victim and a suspect. These included jewelry, green dye, and an address book. Additionally, the drum had some information pre-printed on it.

The victim was identified through the address book. The address book was heavily soaked during the length of time it spent in the drum, but after it was dried out and examined under special light, it became possible to read some names on it. She was identified as Reyna Angelica Marroquin, an immigrant from El Salvador, who had worked as a nanny and for a manufacturer of fake flowers.[1]

The drum was identified as one used for transporting dye, the type used in fake flowers. The manufacturer of the drum was contacted, and by the numbers on it, it was found to have been shipped to the flower company. The company had two owners, one of who was Howard Elkins. Elkins was one of five people who had owned the house where the drum was found, thereby making him the prime suspect.

The day after a brief interview with detectives, Elkins was found shot to death from a self-inflicted gunshot wound at a neighbor's home in Boca Raton, Florida.[2]

The address book also led to clues from which a story about the case could be obtained. All but one of the phone numbers listed were no longer in operation. The one that was turned out to be a friend of the victim. She reported that Elkins, the victim's boss, had been having an extramarital affair with her, and at first had been considering marrying her before the relationship soured. The victim told her that she was afraid her boss would kill her. Her friend came over, but by then, the victim was nowhere to be seen, and she never heard from her again.[3]

After his suicide, blood was drawn from Elkins, and through DNA, the unborn baby carried by the victim was determined to be his child.[4]


  1. ^ Robert Gearty and Corky Siemazsko (September 30, 1999). "Woman In Barrel Id'd 30-year-old Murder Mystery". NY Daily News. Retrieved December 3, 2012. 
  2. ^ Robert McFadden (September 13, 1999). "Suicide Adds to Mystery Of Corpse Found in Barrel". New York Times. Retrieved December 3, 2012. 
  3. ^ Kevin Krause (September 30, 1999). "Body Is Identified, Linked To West Boca". Sun Sentinel. Retrieved December 3, 2012. 
  4. ^ Kevin Krause (January 22, 2000). "Dna Links Suicide To Killing". Sun Sentinel. Retrieved December 3, 2012.