Woman dies after being found injured at a St. Pete park

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) -- A woman is now dead, days after she was found critically injured at a St. Pete park.

Now the mystery deepens for police and they need all the help they can get from the public.

Last Thursday morning, a city worker at Lake Maggiore Park discovered 43-year-old Christie New. She was critically injured and clinging to life.

"She was found in an area where she was pretty concealed," said St. Pete Police spokeswoman Sandra Bentil.

The park employee believed she had been beaten elsewhere and dumped in the park. She died Wednesday morning.

"To take her life is [unfathomable]. I can't imagine one thing she could've done to deserve this," said Christie's sister Deanna New.

Her sister told us Christie lived in Key West and last week was taking her horses to Ocala. She was traveling with a male friend.

"I don't even know this person. I don't know his name, I don't know anything about him," said Deanna.

Deanna has no idea why her sister was in St. Pete.

Police say she had been spotted earlier at the intersection of Haines Road and 54th Avenue West.

"My sister was amazing. Big heart, she commanded a room when she was there, you knew it. She never met a stranger…She could just find you to give you energy when you didn't even know you need it. You couldn't do it, she would tell you, you could do it, she just made you believe in yourself," said New.

Now she's gone leaving behind a 9-year-old daughter.

"This was a life, you know? A mom and a sister. We just want to know, anything you can tell us would be great," said New. "Everybody has a right to live, not a right to be murdered."

Police need any tip, big or small. Crime Stoppers is also offering a $3,000 reward for any information leading to an arrest.

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