THE WINDOWS on the Nissan Altima were dark - dark enough, it seems, to hide the body of Nadia Malik for at least a day or two.
A tip from an anonymous caller to the Marple Township Police Department led Philadelphia cops to inspect the car shortly before 10:30 a.m. yesterday on a slush-rimmed stretch of 30th Street near Market, behind the hulking IRS building.
They found Malik, 22, in the front passenger seat. The mother of two from Broomall had been missing since Feb. 9.
How she died is a mystery for now. She showed no visible signs of trauma and was fully clothed, said Lt. John Walker, of Southwest Detectives.
The seat was reclined, and a duffel bag was resting on top of her head, he said. Malik was positioned on her side, as if she had been sleeping.
Her Nissan was covered with numerous parking tickets, leading some to wonder initially whether Philadelphia Parking Authority officers had repeatedly returned to the same spot on 30th Street and added citations while she lay dead inside the vehicle.
A closer look at the tickets showed that the first one was issued Feb. 10, a few blocks away at 23rd and Market streets, Walker said.
Philly cops added another one Feb. 12 because the car was parked in an emergency lane again on Market Street, he said.
The Nissan received its first ticket in the spot on 30th Street on Tuesday, Walker said.
"If you look at the car, it's tinted heavily on the back and side windows, and the windshield would have been covered with snow," he noted.
A PPA spokesman did not return a request for comment.
The Delaware County Daily Times reported that Malik had recently been let go from her job as a pharmacy assistant at a CVS in Upper Darby for missing work too often.
The paper also reported that police in Marple Township have been trying to interview Malik's ex-boyfriend, Bhupinder Singh, about the young mother's disappearance.
He was arrested earlier this month on a parole violation in Solon, Ohio, and is expected to be brought back to this area to be questioned, according to Marple Township police.
A spokesman for the Cuyahoga County Corrections Center in Cleveland confirmed that Singh was still in custody there last night, awaiting extradition.
Malik's brother Khaled said last night that the family was not ready to comment on his sister's death.
Friend Thomas Singh, no relation to Malik's ex-boyfriend, also declined to comment on the situation, saying only that it's a difficult time for everyone.
The Upper Darby man filed the initial missing-person report for Malik with the Marple Police Department.