The Murder of a 9-Month Pregnant Woman whose Body was Found in a Barrel

Reyna Marroquín’s body was hidden in a crawl-space for three decades.

Liz Jin
6 min readNov 4, 2020


Reyna Angélica Marroquín; Source: Wikipedia

Like many immigrants, Reyna Marroquín came to the United States in search of the American Dream. Instead, she became embroiled in a deadly love triangle that led to her murder in 1969. She was only 28-years old and 9-months pregnant.


Reyna Angélica Marroquín was a Salvadoran woman with big dreams. As reported by CBS News, she often told her mother that she was “going to be somebody someday.” After a failed marriage, Reyna left her husband and El Salvador in August of 1966 and moved to New York to start a new life.

Once in America, she wasted no time taking English classes and classes at the High School of Fashion Industries. Soon after, she landed a job working at Melrose Plastics, a factory that made plastic flowers and trees. At some point, she also gave birth to a baby boy.

Over the next three years, Reyna would write numerous letters to her family, updating them on her new life in America. When the letters abruptly stopped in 1969, her relatives feared the worst and put announcements in the local El Salvador papers stating that she was missing in New York. Despite their efforts, Reyna’s disappearance remained a mystery for 30 years.

The Discovery

67 Forest Drive; Source: CBS News

In the fall of 1999, Hamid Tafaghodi purchased a home at 67 Forest Drive in the affluent town of Jericho, New York, in Nassau County. During the inspection, he found an abandoned, 55-gallon drum, weighing 345 pounds, in the crawl space. Hamid asked the seller, Ronald Cohen, to have it removed. Apparently, this barrel had been sitting in the crawl space for as long as Ronald had lived there. Because of the chemical warnings on the barrel, he had never been tempted to open it.

On September 2, 1999, Ronald pried open the drum's lid and made a horrifying discovery. Lying there among a pile of plastic pellets was a mummified hand and a shoe.



Liz Jin

“I wake up in the morning with a desire to both save the world and savor the world. That makes it hard to plan my day.”