PHILADELPHIA -- It was death by hypodermic needle.
On March 16, 2009, Elsa Then, an unlicensed cosmetologist, went to the Bronx home of a 44-year-old Dominican woman. She jabbed her client in the thighs and buttocks with a syringe filled with a gel-like silicone, charging $800 a cup.
Some of the silicone entered Fiordaliza Pichardo's bloodstream. She died the next day at a hospital from a blood clot. According to media reports, an autopsy showed that she had 1,400 milligrams of silicone in her lungs.
Ellen Borakove, a spokeswoman for the New York City medical examiner's office, said the death was ruled a homicide because the silicone injections had been administered by "a nonmedical, unlicensed person."