Sources: Woman found dead in District Heights had broken hyoid bone

The woman who was found dead in her District Heights apartment Wednesday had a broken hyoid bone — meaning she was possibly strangled — and detectives are interviewing several people who came in and out of her home to find a suspect, law enforcement sources said.

Raquel Israel, 32, was found dead in her apartment in the 2100 block of Brooks Drive about 9 a.m. Wednesday, after Prince George’s County police officers were called to her home to check on her welfare, authorities said. Israel had no immediately obvious signs of trauma, and detectives first treated her case as a death investigation, a law enforcement source said.

Soon, though, detectives learned Israel had suffered a broken hyoid bone, which sometimes indicates strangulation. That and other evidence led them to investigate the case as a murder, a law enforcement source said.

Law enforcement sources said detectives were interviewing several people who came in and out of Israel’s apartment, though they still had no definitive suspects. The sources spoke on the condition of anonymity because the case is ongoing and they could be disciplined for discussing it publicly.

Matt Zapotosky covers the federal district courthouse in Alexandria, where he tries to break news from a windowless office in which he is not allowed to bring his cell phone.

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