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Reading Eagle: Investigation of city woman's death reopened

By Ryan Hughes, Reporter, RHughes@wfmz.com
Published On: Oct 03 2012 07:00:00 PM CDT
Updated On: Oct 04 2012 09:18:05 PM CDT

Members of a Reading family are hoping for closure, seven years after grieving the loss of their loved one.

READING, Pa. -

Members of a Reading family are hoping for closure, seven years after grieving the loss of their loved one.

The death was ruled a suicide, but now it's been reopened after new evidence has emerged.

"I want to see justice, I want to make sure whoever did this is going to pay for it," said Efrain Diaz, whose older sister was killed.

For the past seven years, Diaz has been fighting to undercover the truth and fighting to solve the nightmare that has haunted his family since 2005.

"I know for a fact she was scared to die. She would not be able to go do that knowing she had kids, she loved her kids very much," Diaz said.

In 2005, Marisol Diaz Rajo's death was ruled a suicide after family members discovered her body in her Reading home on North Front Street. The body was found in the basement adjacent to the stairwell. According to the coroner, the way the body was found threw up some red flags.

"It just appeared like it may have been staged instead of a true suicide hanging," said Dennis Hess, the Berks County coroner.

Marisol's cause of death was ruled asphyxiation due to strangulation. The case was closed. For years, her family demanded answers. Her mother even wrote a letter to the coroner.

"There was dialogue apparently between the family and her, and there was nothing there that led them to believe she would have committed suicide," said Hess.

The coroner reopened the case in March 2010. In March of this year, he ruled her death a homicide.

"I think it was last year they came into the home and did some stuff downstairs," said Fernanda Guzman, who currently lives in the home where the homicide happened.

The coroner said additional evidence was found in the home she lived at with her two children.

"My sister was too good a person. She was an angel. She served God," Diaz said.

Marisol's mother and older sister have since passed, but her brother is hoping that evidence is enough to finally get closure.

The story of the new investigation was broken by Reading Eagle reporter Jason Bruderick. You can read more about the case in this Sunday's paper.