GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. - Police said they have identified the woman found inside a storage bin dumped in the front yard of a Lawrenceville home Thursday afternoon.
The Gwinnett County Medical Examiner’s Office said they used tattoos and other physical evidence to confirm the identity of the woman as being Salathiel Zeno. Police said 42-year-old Lawrenceville woman was reported missing New Year’s Day by her estranged husband. He told police he had not spoken to her since the beginning of December when they had a phone conversation. Zeno’s husband reported to police that he had not actually seen her months prior to the call.
“He told police he had not spoken to her since the beginning of December when they had a phone conversation and before that, he hadn’t seen her in months,” said Cpl. Deon Washington, Gwinnett County Police Department.
Now, it will be up to investigators to determine how Zeno was killed and her body dumped in the front yard of home in the 800 block of James Road.
The cause and manner of Zeno’s death was not determined as of Friday. The medical examiner’s office said there was no clear signs of trauma, no gunshot wounds or stabbings that would indicate an apparent cause of death. But forensic examiners have determined Zeno was killed three to five days before her body was discovered.
“The autopsy revealed no clear signs of trauma, no gunshot wounds or stabbings that would indicate an apparent cause of death, so they’re going to have to run other tests," Cpl. Washington.
Detectives have been combing the neighborhood, questioning neighbors and searching for evidence ever since the body was first discovered Thursday around 1 p.m.
“We're all traumatized. We couldn’t sleep last night thinking about how that poor woman was just left in a box like that. It’s just horrible,” said one neighbor who asked not to be identified.
Investigators said there were no clear connections between Zeno and the neighborhood. Police said they will have to piece together a clearer picture of Zeno’s past to help them solve her death.