Menachem Stark, a financially troubled Satmar chasidic real estate developer who was kidnapped outside his Brooklyn office, was found dead in garbage dumpster at a Great Neck gas startion hours later. His body had been burned and he reportedly died of suffocation. The body was discovered just as Shabbat was starting Friday afternoon around 4 p.m.
The body appears to have been dumped the night before and was in the dumpster all day until a gas station employee investigated the smell of burnt flesh.
Robbery was evidently not the motive as he was found with $4,000 in his wallet, reports said.
Stark’s wife initially called a local religious security patrol, Shomrim, when Stark didn’t return home late Thursday night, the New York Post reported. Video footage taken from Stark’s Rutledge Street office reportedly showed him being taken into a van shortly before midnight after a struggle outside his office in Williamsburg as a thick blanket of snow fell over the area. Police were notified around 2:30 a.m. after family members viewed security footage obtained by Shomrim.
Stark’s family offered a $100,000 reward for his return.
Stark, a father of 8, was known in the neighborhood for helping the needy but also as a man with a lot of enemies.
According to the Post, public records show Stark has a string of foreclosures and a $1.3 million judgment against him.