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Cops: Body Found in North Salem Connected to Florida Woman

This story was updated on Thursday morning to include additional information.

SOMERS, N.Y. – New York State Police say they've arrested a Florida woman after allegedly linking her with a body found in the woods of North Salem last summer.

Investigator Armando Barquin of the New York State Police confirmed that Jessica Ryan French, 24, of Lehigh, Fla. was arrested in connection with the body found in the woods of North Salem.  Epifanio Medina, 65, of Passaic, N.J. was identified through his fingerprints after his body was found decomposing by two horseback riders in Gaymark Nature Preserve .

Barquin said he could not release further details about the two's connection, citing an ongoing homicide investigation. French was charged with five felonies in total, according to the New York State Police blotter, including murder in the second degree, unlawful imprisonment, kidnapping or abduction resulting in death, grand larceny and felony robbery aided by another.

Police said more information will likely be available in the coming hours and days.

After his body was originally discovered in the woods, Medina was reported missing almost two weeks earlier by family members who immediately suspected foul play upon hearing he was found in North Salem. Family members said he had no friends or family in northern Westchester and no reason to be there.

French was originally arrested on Feb. 27, as an out-of-state fugitive by Agent R. Santos of the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office and was transported to northern Westchester March 7.

On Thursday morning at about 11:15 a.m. State Police Major Michael Kopy said, “This is an ongoing investigation. French was picked up by the U. S. Marshall Service in the State of Florida at our request and was transported to New York State yesterday. She was processed at the Somers Barracks and is pending appearance in Westchester Court on Thursday or Friday. We may have more information tomorrow.

"Medina was a resident of New Jersey, previously from Florida, and was found deceased in North Salem."

Kopy declined to say how Medina and French knew one another.

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