Shelter volunteer died from asphyxiation; ruled a homicide

The New York City medical examiner's office has declared a homicide in the death of a woman who helped domestic violence survivors.

The office said on Monday that Ola Salem, 25, died from asphyxiation, including neck compression.

Salem's body was found at a Staten Island park on Oct. 24. Police are still investigating the circumstances.

Salem volunteered at the Asiyah Women's Center, a shelter for Muslim women and their families, the Staten Island Advance reported.

The center's executive director, Dania Darwish, said that Salem was passionate about helping survivors and had a gift for making people smile.


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