Autopsy: Bloody death of Carroll Gardens woman an accident

Brooklyn Paper
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The mysterious death of a Carroll Gardens woman in February has been ruled an accident, according to the Medical Examiner’s Office.

The coroner released a report May 8 that said Elizabeth Borst, a former New York Post assistant editorial page editor, died from blunt impact injuries to the head and chest caused by an accidental fall, said chief medical examiner’s spokeswoman Ellen Borakove.

On Feb. 22, cops responded to a 911 call from a tenant in the Clinton Street brownstone where Borst lived with her husband Gaetano Lisco. They found the 55-year-old woman unconscious on the kitchen floor with blood gushing from a severe head wound.

Emergency workers on the scene rushed Borst to Long Island College Hospital, where she died at 4:30 am the next day, officials said.

Police questioned Lisco shortly after Borst’s death and released him without charges. Cops investigated the case to determine if Borst was the victim of a murder. Her initial autopsy, conducted by the Medical Examiner’s Office, came back inconclusive.

Lisco told The Brooklyn Paper soon after Borst died that his wife of 27 years suffered from an autoimmune blood-clotting disease called antiphospholipid syndrome. He said she was in severely poor health in the days before her death.

Lisco claimed that she fell and hit her head on the kitchen floor because she was weak from her illness. Borakove, who said that the autopsy report was finalized on May 8, was not permitted to reveal what exactly caused Borst to fall.

“I feared everyday that this would happen,” Lisco said in February. He described Borst as a heavy drinker on anti-anxiety drugs and medication to reduce the risk of blood clotting. He said that she barely ate during her last three days.

The 55-year-old actor claimed that Borst fell right before he left for his shift at a Manhattan restaurant. He claims he last spoke to Borst when he called her during the afternoon on Feb. 22, and grew frantic when she didn’t pick up multiple times later that night.

Concerned about her well-being, Lisco said he called in a favor from a Court Street deli clerk named Valentino, who later found Borst’s body on the kitchen floor next to a shattered bottle of vodka later.

“She died with her beautiful eyes open still looking at me,” he said in February.

Reach reporter Natalie Musumeci at or by calling (718) 260-4505. Follow her at
Updated 10:11 pm, July 9, 2018
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