A black, late-model Volkswagen Jetta found in Merrick on Monday belonged to a 36-year-old Farmingville woman who was stabbed to death on Sunday, according to Suffolk County police.
Monica Lino was found dead at home by a nephew around 3:30 p.m. on July 27. Suffolk police charged 34-year-old Charles Pray of Bay Shore with second-degree murder in connection with Lino's death. He was scheduled to be arraigned in First District Court in Central Islip on July 29.
A pair of Suffolk County crime scene investigators were in Merrick early on Monday morning, combing through a municipal parking lot off Johnson Street, where Lino’s Jetta was discovered behind a supermarket. At press time, it was unclear how Lino's car wound up in Merrick.
Police covered the Jetta’s license plates with cardboard. Two Suffolk officers took multiple photographs of the Jetta and measurements of the parking lot, before the vehicle was towed to Suffolk and impounded. Nassau police were on the scene, but in a supportive role. Suffolk police were handling the investigation, according to a Nassau police representative.
Gail Kaider, who lives on a neighboring block, said she was out and about on Monday at 5 a.m., as is her custom. She said she saw police in the parking lot where the car was found, and that she was surprised to hear the police investigation might be related to a homicide. “I have young kids – it’s not something you want around here,” Kaider said. “I never remember anything like this in Merrick. I hope they catch him or her.”
Lino had two young children who were on vacation in Portugal at the time of her death.