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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

American Stabbed in Uzbekistan

An American woman working in a family business that imported textbooks to Uzbekistan was stabbed and killed in her apartment. Police said they believe the slaying is tied to the firm's business affairs.

Kerry Quigley, 36, who was from the Los Angeles area, had been working for the past few months with her brother in Tashkent, the Uzbek capital. Uzbekistan has an authoritarian government but is generally considered one of the more stable countries in Central Asia.

"She always told my mom, 'I'm much more likely to get killed in L.A. than Tashkent,'" another brother, William Quigley, said Wednesday from his office in Pasadena, California. "She said murder was rare there."

The killing of an American businesswoman is highly unusual in the former Soviet Union. Although business disputes have led to a sharp increase in slayings throughout the region, few of the victims have been Westerners or women.

Quigley's body was discovered last Saturday by her brother Thomas, who had started a U.S.-Uzbek import-export company about two years ago. Police said her throat had been slashed.

The firm, Ameroz Industries, is believed to be one of the few profitable foreign companies in Uzbekistan. It imports textbooks and supplies for Uzbek schools, institutes and universities.

"We suspect the crime is most likely connected with the company's financial activity," the lead investigator, Mels Naimov, said Wednesday in a telephone interview from Tashkent.

Other Americans who knew the pair in Tashkent said the Quigleys had received threats from a former business associate a few months ago but did not believe that they faced a serious threat. The Americans, who said they feared for their own safety, asked not to be named.

Uzbek officials vowed to solve the case, saying the crime has brought dishonor to their country. It is also likely to scare off foreign investors.

More than 70 American companies have offices in Uzbekistan, and several hundred U.S. executives are believed to live in the country, mostly in Tashkent.

Friends said Kerry Quigley was among the most prominent. She was active in community events and volunteered for charities.

f Alexei V. Kuznetsov contributed to this report.