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Authorities identify slain San Antonio woman reportedly tied to New York City suicide

Report: Man who killed self was a person of interest in the woman’s death

SAN ANTONIO – Authorities have identified a San Antonio woman who was found slain in her West Side apartment days before a reported person of interest in her death died of suicide in New York City.

Michelle Washington-Hart, 56, died of multiple sharp force injuries inside her apartment in the 7600 block of Highway 90 East off Springdale Drive, according to the Bexar County Medical Examiner’s Office. She was discovered Friday, just days after her Jan. 3 birthday.

Her body was found during a welfare check after relatives who were visiting from out of town didn’t hear back from her. The relatives contacted the apartment manager, who then unlocked the door for police officers.

Her manner of death is listed as a homicide.

Washington-Hart’s death has been linked to a man who jumped to his death from a tourist attraction in New York City on Monday, according to media reports.

Franklin Washington, 21, jumped from the 150-foot Vessel sculpture at Hudson Yards in Manhattan, the New York Times reported. The report states Washington was from San Antonio.

Following Washington’s death on Monday, New York police contacted authorities in San Antonio to notify his next of kin, according to the New York Post.

New York police discovered that Washington was being sought as a person of interest in the woman’s slaying, the newspaper reported.

SAPD could not confirm to KSAT how Washington was connected to the homicide, but they did indicate that it was related.

Officer Alisia Pruneda, a public information officer for SAPD, told KSAT that Washington was not listed as a “wanted” person on any active cases. SAPD would not confirm if he was a person of interest.

It doesn’t appear that Washington left a suicide note, the New York Daily News reported.

The Vessel closed to visitors on Tuesday following the latest suicide. It was one of three in less than a year, the New York Times reported.

People visit The Vessel at the Hudson Yards on December 31, 2020 in New York City. (Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images)
People visit The Vessel at the Hudson Yards on December 31, 2020 in New York City. (Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images) (2020 Noam Galai)

The two other deaths occurred in December and February.

An employee who witnessed Monday’s suicide said the attraction was mostly deserted at the time and had a few tourists in the area.

It is unclear when the Vessel will reopen to visitors.

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