‘Horrible way to die:’ Co-worker remembers Marie Kuhnla

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WANTAGH -

A co-worker of the Wantagh woman found dead at a Turks and Caicos resort told News 12 that she wants to keep pressure on authorities working on the case.

News 12 reported Tuesday that authorities launched a murder investigation into the death of Marie Kuhnla, a guest at Club Med who was found earlier this month.

Helma Hermans worked with Kuhnla at the Central Islip Courthouse in family court. She called her a “wonderful person” who had a “generous soul.” Hermans, Kuhnla and another co-worker were at the Club Med resort on a vacation they had planned for months.

MORE: Wantagh woman found dead in Turks and Caicos; murder probe launched

"We deal with some really, really hard issues,” says Hermans. “She needed the break. We all need the break.”

Hermans says the last time anyone saw Kuhnla was at 7:15 pm on Sunday, Oct. 14. She says they were meeting for dinner 15 minutes later, but Kuhnla never arrived.

She says Club Med did little to find Kuhnla, and they weren’t allowed to file a missing person’s report for 24 hours. She wasn’t found until the next day by her co-worker’s daughter in the bushes near the resort’s restaurant.

“This is a horrible way to die. She wouldn't hurt a fly,” Hermans told News 12. “She was an angel. She has helped so many people, and this is how she gets paid back?”

The police department in Turks and Caicos says it launched a murder investigation, but has released few details. The victim’s family told News 12 that authorities believe she was strangled.

Club Med issued a statement saying there wasn’t any ongoing threat to guests there.

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