When Police Exhumed Gangland Hit Victim, They Found Empty Coffin

Last month, police went to exhume the corpse of an alleged gangland hit victim whose remains were found in January 1969 near Route 17 in the village of Tuxedo, New York, about 40 miles north of Manhattan.

They wanted to identify him. They didn't because the grave was empty.

We wrote about the victim of another gangland hit that took place around the same time; that victim was located slightly to the northeast in the town of Saugerties. He was also never even identified despite the fact his pockets were stuffed with personal items, though no identification. You can read all about it here.

The 1969 victim was buried in a cemetery in the 1970s. He was a white man, between 45 and 55 years old, who had been shot in the head in 1968, as per state police. Found with the remains were clothing, a St. Christopher medal and a Longine watch.

"We're like bulldogs," Senior Investigator Yan Salomon told Fox News in an Oct. 27 report.

The remains had been buried in the Highland Mills cemetary in the mid-1970s in a section for unidentified or unclaimed bodies.

Authorities are hoping to re-examine the remains in an effort to identify the man, believed to be one of several victims of mob-related killings in the late '60s and early '70s whose bodies were dumped in the region.

"With today's technology, we hope that we can find a family member's match by taking his DNA," Salomon told Fox.

Law enforcement doesn't believe the mob dug the victim up, however. The thinking is that the remains were moved to a different part of the cemetery.

As for the other victims found in the area (none are named in the story, even though these victims have been identified):

  • In February 1972, a frozen torso was found in the trunk of a car that had been set on fire off Route 17 in another part of Orange County. The remains were later identified as those of a Long Island man who delivered heroin.
  • Later that summer, another mobster was shot and dumped in Sullivan County. His girlfriend was also shot, but she survived and testified against the gunmen.

One question on our minds:

Why exactly in October of 2017 is law enforcement digging up a body shot to death decades ago?


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