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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Will Maule

Brutally murdered 'girl with the scorpion tattoo' identified after 30 years

The identity of a woman who was brutally murdered in New York City in 1991 has finally been revealed.

For almost three decades, Christine Belusko was known only as 'the girl with the scorpion tattoo' due to a marking on her body.

She was discovered "brutally beaten strangled, and burned" on Staten Island's east shore more than 30 years ago, according to Richmond County District Attorney Michael E. McMahon, but her identity remained a mystery.

However, following years of painstaking investigative work, Ms Belusko's name was finally confirmed in April 2021 before being released this week, decades after her "brutal and depraved" murder.

What makes the case more complex is that Christine had a daughter, Christa, who was last seen with her mother in September 1991 in the US state of Pennsylvania.

Police released a sketch of Christine Belusko after being unable to identify her at the time of the incident (Richmond County DA Office)

Now, investigators are attempting to track down Christa so they can let her know the identity of her mother.

“We have already notified (Belusko’s) family of her death and we continue to make all efforts to also locate Christa Nicole so we can let her know about who her mother was and what has been done to bring justice to this case,” McMahon told reporters on Tuesday, according to CNN.

Ms Belusko was only 30 when her body was found handcuffed, partially clothed, and burned.

She had been left in a vacant lot, according to David Nilsen, chief investigator for the Richmond County District Attorney’s Office, and had suffered 17 blows to her head.

A hammer was also recovered at the scene, he said.

McMahon explained. “Despite the incredibly dedicated work of the NYPD at that time, authorities were unable to identify her or locate the person who took her life so savagely and viciously at such a young age.

“Nearly 30 years later, in a joint effort with the FBI, my incredible team of detective investigators working with the NYPD detectives picked up the case and working together, we employed the use of forensic genealogy technology unavailable in 1991, but invaluable in today’s law enforcement world to bring closure and justice to those touched by crime.”

When authorities reached out to Belusko's living relatives, including her brother, they discovered that she had a two-year-old daughter at the time of her murder.

On Tuesday, investigators released an image of what they believe Christa looks like now and are desperately attempting to track her down.

Police have released an image of what they believe Christa looks like 30 years on (Richmond County DA Office)

They also continue to search for her mother's killer.

“We are seeking the public’s assistance to solve the homicide of Christine Belusko and determine the whereabouts of Christa Nicole,” Nilsen said.

The hammer found at the scene of the murder had 'Loyd L' engraved on the handle and an individual of the same name was identified, but "that's as far as it got," McMahon said.

"There was no other indication that he was involved," he added.

"He couldn’t be prosecuted or exonerated at that time given the circumstances that we knew."

McMahon added that Lloyd L is no longer living.

As the investigation into her murder continues, McMahon said investigators believe her killer was known to her.

“There’s absolutely no indication that this was done by anyone other than someone who knew her, given the facts of the case and what transpired in the way that she was murdered… That certainly makes us think that this was someone who knew her," he said.

"It’s an intimate type of murder."

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