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WASHINGTON, D.C. – D.C. Police say the beloved owner of a U Street corridor restaurant was murdered. The body of Norah Amaya, who co-owned Coppi’s Organic, was found in her Northwest Washington apartment on Monday night, and investigators say she died of strangulation.

Amaya’s body was found in her apartment around 9 p.m. on Monday night. It didn’t appear that anyone had broken into her apartment on 16th Street NW. So far, investigators have made no arrest.

People who live in one 16th Street apartment complex are still in shock that their neighbor, Nora Amaya, was strangled to death inside her apartment.

They are still stunned this type of violence happened so close to home and in such a secure place.

“I am completely flabbergasted, I thought this was one of the most secure places around,” says one resident.

“You have to have a key card to get in show I.D and all that they let the person in, they have to have all the information on a sign in sheet,” says another resident.

Amaya’s sister describes her as a hero. Many who knew the 38 year old would recognize her on the job. She and her brother were co-owners of Coppi’s Restaurant, located near 14th and U Streets NW.

“She’s the type of person that you know you can go to her and you’re just gonna feel great. She was always very positive around everybody. She just had that energy to bring you back up,” said her sister Blanca Pacheco.

Darren Santos is the general manager of Coppi’s. Santos says co-workers gathered at the restaurant Tuesday afternoon.

“We’re all just lost right now. We don’t know what to do. We’re all trying to band together and continue working just like “Nori” would want us to do,” said Santos.

Co-workers last saw Amaya at the restaurant Saturday. They say she left work a bit early on Halloween to do what she loved– salsa dancing.

Amaya’s brother was the chef at Coppi’s. Family members say he handled the business side of things. One employee of the restaurant told FOX 5 that even though Amaya was the boss, first and foremost, she was a good friend.


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