According to the NYPD, officers found her body at around 3:30 a.m. There were no obvious signs of trauma, and no foul play is suspected.
The medical examiner will determine the cause of death. An investigation is ongoing.
Born Osvaldo Gomez, Ms. Colombia was an “iconic figure in the LGBT community and beyond,” Councilman Daniel Dromm said in a statement.
“She was beloved by all who saw her in the streets, at parades and in the neighborhood wearing her colorful outfits and a bird on her shoulder,” Dromm said. “Her cheerfulness and ability to bring a smile to the faces of all who met her will be missed by all New Yorkers.”
The councilman recalled marching with Ms. Colombia at the first Queens Pride Parade, and at many other celebrations, including the India Day Parade and the Chinese New Year Parade.
Councilman Francisco Moya paid tribute to Ms. Colombia as someone who brought “life and character” to Jackson Heights.
“This city is a little less colorful and a little less brilliant without her here,” Moya said in a statement. “Ms. Colombia knew who she was and had the courage to be exactly that, every day. We should all be so brave.”
On Friday night, hundreds of people, including Gomez’s sister Eddy, showed up for a candlelight vigil in front of the Jackson Heights Post Office.
“While life did not always treat Ms. Colombia with all the respect she was due, New Yorkers will remember Ms. Colombia as a hero to everyone,” Dromm said. “May Ms. Colombia rest in peace.”