Horrible: A 24-year-old NYPD crime-lab worker was brutally murdered at some point over the weekend, her body found Monday morning tied to the bed in her Sunnyside apartment with a knife stuck in her neck. Last year Michelle Lee, originally of College Point, Queens, graduated with a forensic science degree from John Jay College, and began working for the police department. Her roommate, who also works in the crime lab, says she was out of town for the weekend, and when she returned on Sunday night, she assumed Lee was asleep in her bedroom. But investigators believe Lee may have been dead for days.

When the unnamed roommate went to check on Lee yesterday morning, she found her naked and tied to the bed in a pool of blood in her third-floor bedroom. The landlord of the 43rd Street building, Milenko Mijat, tells the Daily News, "She came down the stairs screaming. She said, 'She's dead in the bed.'" Police sources say Lee had also been burned on her belly with an iron, hit on the head, and strangled with the cord of a cell phone charger. Investigators say there were no signs of forced entry, nothing seemed to be missing, nor were there any signs of a struggle. Cops are now looking to interview some of Lee's ex-boyfriends.

Last July some Sunnyside residents noted an increase in "derelicts" around the neighborhood. One of Lee's neighbors tells the Post, "My wife took the window guards out because it wasn't aesthetically pleasing. But they're going back up today." And just yesterday the NYPD released stats showing that while gun killings fell in 2008, the number of killings committed with knives or other “cutting instruments” rose 50 percent, to 125 from 83. The stabbing spike has not been seen in other cities, and police spokesman Paul Browne explains, "It's hard to say with certainty what accounts for the increase... We may have made it harder for killers to get their hands on guns. Knives are still easily and legally acquired."