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Woman Found Dead On Seventh Said to Be Owner of Arcane Bistro - The Local East Village Blog - NYTimes.com


Woman Found Dead On Seventh Said to Be Owner of Arcane Bistro


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The woman whose body was found in an empty lot on East Seventh Street this morning has been identified by neighbors as Christine Ebel, an owner of Arcane, a French-Caribbean bistro adjacent the lot.

Bill Rafty, the building superintendent at Eastville Gardens, also bordering the lot, said he recognized the woman whose lifeless body was discovered around 9 a.m. this morning. “I saw her face,” said Mr. Rafty. “I recognized her. I recognized her hair. She’s got dirty-blonde curly hair.”

Mr. Rafty, who would often see Ms. Ebel cleaning up outside of Arcane, said, “She was beautiful. She had many friends.” He believed she lived above the bistro.

Piti Dumitru, who works with Mr. Rafty, described her as a “very nice girl”: “I never saw her drink,” he said. “It’s terrible.”

Kim, a patron of the restaurant who did not want to give her last name, said a friend who lived in the neighborhood called her shortly after noon to inform her of Ms. Ebel’s death. “We called her the pretty white lady,” she said. “She was always sweet, energetic – always on the go. She was always happy.”

Throughout the afternoon, a group of distraught individuals stood outside of Arcane, consoling each other. A sign on the bar’s door read, “Arcane is closed for tonight.”

The police could not confirm the woman’s identity and said the investigation was ongoing.

According to New York Kitchen, Ms. Ebel grew up on the French West Indian island of Guadeloupe with her brother Benjamin Alter. The two opened the French-Caribbean bistro in September of 2008.