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Maria Hernandez, 74, found dead, tied up in her Upper West Side apartment

74-year-old found dead in Upper West Side home with hands, feet tied
74-year-old found dead in Upper West Side home with hands, feet tied 02:25

NEW YORK - The NYPD is searching for the person or people behind a homicide on the Upper West Side. 

Police say it's a possible burglary gone awry. 

The victim's family is looking for answers. 

NYPD officers could seen going in and out of the apartment building on West 83rd Street Friday. 

Investigators focused on the third floor apartment of 74-year-old Maria Hernandez, who was found dead in side two days prior. 

"I'm in shock. I can't believe that, the most terrifying moment of my life," said her sister Maria Terrero. 

Terrero hadn't heard from her sister, so she went to check on her Wednesday night only to find the unthinkable. 

"I found her in the bedroom. She was on the floor, covered with all this stuff," Terrero said. 

Cops arrived after a 911 call, finding Hernandez unconscious with her hands and feet tied. 

Police sources say along with being bound and gagged, her bedroom was ransacked. There weren't any other obvious signs of trauma, according to police. 

She was pronounced dead at the scene. 

"I can't believe, I can't believe — never, ever in my life I would think this thing would happen to her. She was wonderful, wonderful, wonderful lady," Terrero said. 

Police sources say there were no signs of forced entry, and nothing appears to have been taken from the apartment.

"Absolutely the last person I would expect something like that to happen to," said neighbor Patrick Jolicoeur. 

Neighbors say they don't know who would do this to Hernandez, describing her as a sweet woman. 

"I'm stunned. All last night, my wife and I were just head shaking, mind blowing. Couldn't believe that. I live here over 30 years, so it happened to her, could happen to any of us," said Jolicoeur. 

"I'm very sad. This is not easy," said friend Rosa Medina. 

Police say the motive appears to be robbery, but investigators are trying to get to the bottom of this. 

Terrero is confident the NYPD will find whoever is responsible for taking her sister's life. 

"I trust the authorities and I know they're working very hard and I really believe they find justice for her," Terrero said. 

It's not clear exactly how Hernandez died. The medical examiner will determine the cause of death. 

Anyone with any information is asked to call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477), or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). You can also submit a tip via their website or via DM on Twitter, @NYPDTips. All calls are kept confidential.  

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