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NYC Woman Found Naked in Woods Died by Setting Self on Fire

What to Know

  • The 30-year-old woman found naked and partially burned in the woods on Staten Island last month died of suicide, the medical examiner says

  • Yelena Rabkina died of thermal burns due to self-immolation, the M.E. says

  • She was reported missing around seven days before her body was found

The woman found naked and partially burned in the woods behind a high school on Staten Island last month killed herself by setting herself on fire, the medical examiner has determined.

Yelena Rabkina's body was found by two teenagers behind a school in Tottenville near Eugene Street and Bartow Avenue in late November, police said. She lived about 16 miles away.

The medical examiner has determined the 30-year-old Rabkina died of thermal burns due to self-immolation. The manner of death was suicide.

A spokesman for the NYPD previously said Rabkina's body was unclothed and partially decomposed. Police say the body had burn marks but was not on fire when police arrived.

NYPD Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea on Tuesday said the woman was reported missing around seven days before her body was found.

A gas can was found near where the woman was found he said, adding that there were no signs of any sort of trauma contributing to her death.

A friend told News 4 that Rabkina went missing a week ago. Her grandfather said in Russian, "What can I say? She was a good girl. Good, normal."

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