NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Saturday, November 19, 2016, 4:57 PM
A Connecticut family announced plans to bury their slain son as two suspects in the savage stabbing remained behind bars Saturday — with neither yet charged in the murder.
The wake for 26-year-old Joseph Comunale was set for Tuesday in his hometown of Stamford, followed by a Wednesday funeral at St. Leo’s Church in the same Connecticut city.
“The world was a better place because of him,” the family said in a moving obituary for Comunale. “His life was cut short too soon.”
The victim’s dad Pat said the family was “still waiting on more information” in last weekend’s horrific killing, where his son was stabbed 15 times, set afire and buried in a shallow Jersey Shore grave.
Pat Comunale said he had spoken with some of the friends who accompanied Joseph into the city last Saturday night before they went their separate ways.
Police are still unsure which of the two conspirators killed Joseph Comunale (pictured), but murder charges are expected in the heinous knife attack.
“They’re really broken up about it,” he said.
Suspects James Rackover, 25, who lived in the pricey East Side apartment where the murder occurred, and Lawrence Dilione, 28, of Jersey City, N.J., remained behind bars on $ 3 million bond.
Cops remained unsure which of the two men wielded the knife used in the brutal attack in the early morning hours of Nov. 13.
Both men were charged with concealment of a human body, hindering prosecution and tampering with evidence in the case.
Murder charges were expected after cops finish forensics tests — including whether the victim’s blood turns up on either of the men in custody.
The victim’s body was taken in Rackover’s black 2015 Mercedes-Benz for the hour-long ride from E. 59th St. to a remote wooded area of Oceanport, N.J.
A cadaver-sniffing dog identified the car’s trunk and the apartment as locations with the scent of a corpse. Dilione once lived in an Oceanport home about a mile from the crude grave.
Comunale’s Hofstra University classmate and protégé Tyler Lavertu, 25, launched a Facebook page allowing friends to post photos of his slain pal.
Pat Comunale, Joesph Comunale’s father, says the family is awaiting more information on his death. A Tuesday wake is planned for the 26-year-old in Stamford, Conn.
Pictures from across the years soon appeared, with remembrances from an old football coach, his hockey teammates, friends of his parents and kids from his hometown.
“It’s the greatest dedication to Joey that I could imagine,” said Lavertu. “It blew my mind how many people he had actually touched. I knew he was loved by many. But I couldn’t even fathom this many.”
Lavertu was two grades behind Comunale, and the older guy took a liking to his younger teammate on the Hofstra hockey club team.
“He really took me under his wing, it was a major shift in my life,” said Lavertu. “He had a natural way with the ladies, really with everybody.
Comunale was killed in Rackover’s posh E. 59th St. apartment. Police say Rackover and Dilione then bungled an attempt to cover up the Connecticut man’s death.
“He had a smile on his face, he was a great person to be around. You could never be mad around Joey. It was always laughs.”
He recalled winger Comunale as the team’s best player, wearing the No. 19 for the Long Island college.
Lavertu spoke for Comunale’s many friends and family members when he wondered exactly what went wrong after a night of partying in Manhattan.
“That’s the question: How did it escalate so quickly?” said Lavertu. “He was probably enjoying hanging out with the girls in this rich guy’s apartment.
“I can’t imagine what could have cause it, what could possibly make someone go that far.”