Evelyn Sakash went missing six months ago but police could not find her body at the time. When professional cleaners were brought in, her body was found.
Emmy-winning set designer Evelyn Sakash was found dead in her home months after being missing. A spokesperson from the New York Police Department revealed that the 66-year-old's body was found beneath a pile of debris in the kitchen of her Queens, New York home on Tuesday. It was confirmed that Sakash passed away from natural causes, which was said to be atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, according to the Independent. The scenic artist has worked in the art department of many notable series, including Law & Order: Criminal Intent, and Orange is the New Black, as well as for movies like Still Alice and Mermaids.
Loved ones of Emmy-winning set designer Evelyn Sakash have spoken out after she was found dead in her home: "She had a full life. She was so extraordinarily talented." 💔https://t.co/Bpi93rKesH pic.twitter.com/OA7UcevUr4— E! News (@enews) April 1, 2021
A GoFundMe account was created back in December by her friend Madeline O'Connell Hartling to raise enough money to find her after she was reported missing in September, reports PEOPLE. At the time, the page read: Brothers and sisters, our sister Evelyn Sakash has been missing since September 2020. Evelyn's sister Ellen Brown has been paying out of pocket to supplement law enforcements' investigative resources. So many of us have asked, "what can I do to help?". Please consider making a donation to this Go Fund Me page so Ellen and the rest of Evelyn's family can find the answers they desperately seek. With the cold weather upon us, it is more important than ever to find Evelyn and reunite her with everyone who loves her. Thanks, everyone!
Horrible 🙏— chicafabnyc (@chicafabnyc) April 1, 2021
But recently, Sakash's sister Ellen Brown hired professional cleaners to clear out the designer's house. That's when they found her body. Speaking to New York Daily News, 60-year-old Brown said, "This is just devastating. She had a full life. She was so extraordinarily talented. She was a brilliant mind ... I don’t want my sister to be remembered like that, like the way she was found." Sakash bagged many accolades including a 2003 Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Achievement in Art Direction/Set Decoration/Scenic Design for the television series Between the Lions.
Production designer Evelyn Sakash, who won a Daytime Emmy Award for "Between the Lions," was found dead at her home in Queens. https://t.co/M5tmwfSaYj— CBS New York (@CBSNewYork) April 1, 2021
She was going great in her career until her mother passed away in April, says a neighbor. "She became so much more withdrawn and looked sick," they said. "I think that’s when she started to pick up more of the hoarding . . . I went into her house years ago and it was normal." Sakash's home was filled with dirty dishes and other items that were piled high in the rooms. Police did check her home on two occasions as she had dogs and cats in there, but even while vacating the animals, they did not locate her body.
omfg she did production design for between the lions, i LOVED that show. rest in piece evelyn sakash.— 𝓿𝓲𝓿𝓲𝓪𝓷 (@viviandgnr) April 2, 2021
The circumstances surrounding her death were reminiscent of the infamous hoarders, brothers Homer and Langley, whose bodies were found decomposing inside their cluttered home in 1947. But Brown doesn't want her sister to be remembered that way, as she said, "This was clearly in effect for a long time. She sometimes kept people at bay. The headline says 'Queens hoarder,' but that’s not who she is." Brown added, "Every one of her friends would say she was the first person to step up if someone needed help. She was so generous with people. I want all of that to be the final testament, and not that she was found in a bad condition."
NYPD searched Emmy-winning set designer Evelyn Sakash‘s Queens home twice but failed to find her body in floor-to-ceiling debris— New York Daily News (@NYDailyNews) April 1, 2021
45-minute search by NYPD cadaver dogs failed to find the 8-month-missing Queens woman entombed in trash — likely due to stenchhttps://t.co/PZHSIyPSt9
51-year-old Hartling of Hersey City said, "I would like her to be remembered as an amazing friend and a talented artist." Hartling, who also works as a scenic artist, worked with Sakash for many years. "She got along great with co-workers and was just so talented . . . The industry has lost an amazing designer and artist." She was completely unaware of the way her friend had been living in the months that led to her death. "I had no idea that she was living in her home like that. It was part of her life but it was not all of it so I hope she can be remembered more charitably . . . She should be remembered by the contributions made to the industry and with the kindness, she approached everyone she knew."