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Police Seek Clues in ‘Gatsby’ Slaying

October 18, 2005

SANDS POINT, N.Y. (AP) _ Homicide detectives searched for clues Tuesday in the slaying of a young woman whose battered body was found amid the mansions and millionaires of this Long Island community that inspired F. Scott Fitzgerald’s ``The Great Gatsby.″

The still-unidentified victim was discovered Saturday morning in thick underbrush near an intersection.

The lack of answers was unnerving for Sands Point residents, a group that over the years has included Vanderbilts, Guggenheims and Hearsts.

``Everyone here, we leave our front doors unlocked during the day,″ said Larissa Klug, who moved in in 1997. ``We’re scared. We’re just scared.″

Sands Point was said to be the model for East Egg, the setting for ``Gatsby.″ The town of 2,800 is on the Gold Coast, where the mansions overlook Long Island Sound, the New York skyline glints in the distance, and crime-fighting for the 21-member police force typically means handing out speeding tickets.

Police were checking leads called in after a sketch of the victim was released Monday.

``We feel there are a number of credible calls, and in fact we’re getting calls concerning the same person from multiple sources,″ said Detective Lt. Dennis Farrell, commander of Nassau County’s police homicide squad.

Investigators said the freckle-faced woman with gray-blue eyes was between 17 and 24, with light brown or blond hair. She was dressed in pink sweat pants, a pink zippered jacket with a hood, and a pink sleeveless cut-off shirt with a cartoon of a couple clutching a mended broken heart and the words ``love is ... patching things up.″

She wore two rings _ a gold ring with a heart held by two hands, and a signet with hearts and the letter ``E.″ She had a tattoo on her hip of a smiling flower.

Farrell said she was beaten in the head with a blunt instrument. There was no indication she had been sexually assaulted.

Farrell also said investigators believe the woman was dumped in Sands Point after being killed elsewhere. ``Whether it was a block away or 100 miles, we don’t know that yet,″ he said.

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