Two people have been charged in connection with the death of a man who police said went missing in New York City, after a body was found in a shallow grave in New Jersey, stabbed 15 times and was the object of an attempt to burn it with gasoline, the NYPD said.
James Rackover, 25, of Manhattan, and Lawrence Dilione, 28, of Jersey City, N.J., are facing charges of second-degree murder, concealment of a human corpse and tampering with physical evidence, according to police. Dilione is also charged with hindering the prosecution, according to cops.
While police are fairly certain the remains in New Jersey are those of Joseph Comunale, they are awaiting the results of a dental examination to confirm his identity.
Comunale, 26, of Stamford, disappeared after coming into Manhattan over the weekend and partying. Police said he met friends in Greenwich Village and then went with another group of people to a party on East 59th Street on the Upper East Side. It was there, according to police, that there is evidence of a homicide. NYPD Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce said that blood spatter was found in an apartment at the address, and that detectives also found bloody clothing that had been treated with bleach as if to cover up the stains.
Boyce described the grave near the town of Oceanport as “very disturbing.” He likened it to the crime scene surrounding the death of Karina Vetrano in Howard Beach last August because of the heavily weeded terrain police are examining for evidence.
(With Lauren Cook)