According to Southampton Town Police Lieutenant Susan Ralph, police believe that Lilia Aucapina committed suicide.
She said that the Suffolk County Medical Examiners will confirm that Ms. Aucapina’s death was not criminal in nature based on the evidence police give them.
Although police have not named an exact location as to where Ms. Aucapina’s body was found, it apparently was about 500 feet away from her home at 517 Toppings Path. Police said that she was found in a “heavily wooded area” between Toppings Path and Sprig Tree Path.
Lt. Ralph would not offer basic information regarding Ms. Aucapina’s disappearance, including how many officers were involved in the search and if her cellphone was found at the scene.
As for why the K-9’s did not come upon Ms. Aucapina’s body, Lt. Ralph blamed the wind. “It can be the wind direction and if the wind is blowing the scent away from the dog, the dog wouldn’t pick it up,” she said.
“It was heavily foliaged, plus the ground cover was high so it is thickets that you would have to be able to get into,” Lt. Ralph explained.”With all those factors, she was missed.”
The body found in the woods Saturday morning has been identified as Lilia “Esperanza” Aucapina, according to a press release from Southampton Town Police.
She was found in the woods between Sprig Tree Path and Toppings Path, where she lived in Sagaponack, according to authorities. It does not appear that there was any criminal activity involved in Ms. Aucapina’s death, police said, but it is still under investigation.
Both Southampton Town Police detectives and the Suffolk County Medical Examiner responded to the scene after they were contacted by a hunter at about 7:30 a.m.
The medical examiner will conduct further testing to confirm that the body is in fact that of Ms. Aucapina.
Southampton Town Police Sergeant Carl Schottenhamel confirmed that a hunter found a body in the woods on Toppings Path, near Lilia Aucapina’s house, at approximately 7:33 a.m.
Further information was not provided.
“It is still pretty preliminary,” Sgt. Schottenhamel said. “It is still an active investigation with the detectives.”
A body, believed to be Lilia Aucapina, was found in the woods near her house in Sagaponack today, according to Colin Astarita, her husband’s attorney, who said he spoke with police earlier today.
Mr. Astarita said that the body was found hanging from a tree.
Southampton Town Police did not immediately respond to requests for comment or to confirm the report.
Mr. Astarita said that a hunter was in the area Saturday morning and came upon the body, which had significantly decomposed, adding that dental records will be needed for official identification.
“Police had searched the area, but in the last six weeks the leaves have dropped and the area has been more accessible,” he said.
A text message from Ms. Aucapina’s phone was sent to both of her children a few hours after she went missing on October 10, according to authorities. Mr. Astarita said it said something along the lines of, “Remember, Mommy loves you.”
Several different departments had worked together to search for Ms. Aucapina, including the Southampton Town Police Patrol and Detective divisions, East Hampton Town Police Patrol and Detective divisions, Quogue Village Police, Suffolk County Police Aviation, K-9 divisions, New York State Police and K-9 divisions, Suffolk County Sheriffs K-9, the State Department of Environmental Conservation, and New York State Forestry Officers.
A petition to temporarily amend an order of protection in place against Carlos Aucapina, the husband of a missing Sagaponack woman, was denied in Suffolk County Family Court on Thursday.
According to Colin Astarita, Mr. Aucapina’s attorney, the request would have allowed him to live in his home on Toppings Path with his daughter, Jocelyn, until his wife, Lilia Aucapina, who has been missing for more than one month, is located.
“The holiday is next week,” Mr. Aucapina said on Friday, adding that his son, Ronald, is coming home from college for a few days and it would be better if he did not have to stay at home alone.
“I am in a different house and my daughter is living somewhere else because no one else is at home to take care of her,” he added.
Ms. Aucapina was last seen on the morning of October 10 in the parking lot of the Meeting House Medical Practice in Wainscott. Her son reported her missing roughly 12 hours after that.
Southampton Town Police said that Mr. Aucapina had confronted her and a male friend that morning, which was a violation of the order of protection. Mr. Aucapina had reportedly confronted the two and accused the man of having an affair with his wife.
Mr. Astarita said that the request to have the court amend the order of protection was done mostly for his daughter. “The kid is uprooted,” he said, adding that Judge Martha Luft denied the request because Ms. Aucapina was not at court to consult with her Legal Aid attorney.
“It is not a good situation,” Mr. Aucapina said. “She said that she needs more documents to prove that I am not a suspect. That’s why she said no she is not changing the order of protection.”
He added, “My hope, my expectation, is to be together at our house with obviously me not compromising or getting in trouble with the order of protection, so I’m waiting for the authorities to be easy on this holiday so I can move into the house and stay with family, at least temporarily.”
Mr. Astarita said that he and his client will continue to explore options that would allow Mr. Aucapina to return to his home with his children.