THE BRONX, N.Y. (PIX11) — A community is demanding justice and accountability in the death of a Bronx woman at the Montefiore Family Health Center in the Bronx.
Investigators said 57-year-old Sary Mao fell in the stairwell of the facility at 1 Fordham Plaza on Aug. 16, but her body wasn’t discovered until five days later. Organizers with the nonprofit Mekong NYC, who organized a rally Wednesday, said a foul odor led staff to the stairwell.
“There’s so many questions,” said Khamarin Nhann of Mekong NYC. “So many unanswered thoughts and for us, and for the family, we really want to know how can something like that happen.”
Mao’s sister, Sopath Mao, described her as loving and said the past month without her sister has been gut-wrenching.
“Very frustrating,” said Sopath. “This was very unexpected. I wish that somebody could let us know that she passed away.”
Staff at Mekong NYC sent a letter to Montefiore asking about the facility’s protocols regarding security patrols in the building.
A spokesperson for the health center released a statement saying:
“Montefiore does not own or operate the building, therefore we have been in touch with the management company and owners of the building to better understand what occurred when Ms. Mao left our facility.”
According to the Bronx Chamber of Commerce’s website, ‘One Fordham Plaza, LLC’ manages the building, which houses several businesses, including Montefiore’s health center. PIX11 attempted to reach out for a statement, but a staff member on the phone hung up without answering our questions.
Organizers told PIX11 Mao was living at a Catholic Charities group home at the time of her passing. According to NYPD, a missing persons report was not filed despite Mao being missing for five days. We contacted Catholic Charities to see their protocols when a resident goes missing, but they did not respond to our request for comment.