NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Updated: Thursday, November 17, 2016, 2:37 PM
Cops arrested the son of a celebrity jeweler and a second suspect Thursday for the savage East Side stabbing of a Connecticut man then buried in a shallow New Jersey grave.
James Rackover, 25, who lived in the pricey apartment where Joseph Comunal was killed, was charged with second-degree murder, concealment of a human corpse and tampering with evidence.
After Joseph Comunale’s killers stabbed him to death, they set about covering up his death — but failed miserably, cops say.
The suspect’s blood-spattered E. 59th St. home provided damning proof, as police recovered 32 pieces of evidence from the gory crime scene, said Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce.
Cops also arrested a second suspect: Lawrence Dilione, 28, of Jersey City, N.J., who faced the same charges plus an additional charge of hindering prosecution, police said.
James Rackover (r., with jeweler dad Jeffrey).
(Carly Erickson/BFA.com/Carly Erickson/BFAnyc.com)
Sources told the Daily News that both suspects hired lawyers and refused to cooperate with investigators.
Comunal, 26, of Stamford, Conn., was stabbed 15 times inside the luxury 36-story building before his body was driven to New Jersey and dumped behind a florist shop.
The killers also attempted to burn his body after dousing the victim with gasoline, said Boyce. Comunal also suffered a broken pelvis, leading to speculation that his killers tossed the body from the third-floor apartment.
Rackover was held at the 13th Precinct after his Tuesday night arrest for driving with a suspended license until his arrest.
The motive for the vicious attack remained under investigation, although sources indicated the killing occurred after Comunal rejected the advances of one of the men inside the apartment.
Crime scene investigators were scouring the building at 418 E. 59th St. and the grave in Oceanport, N.J., as they discussed the charges with the Manhattan district attorney, said Boyce.
A botched coverup attempt inside Rackover’s apartment left investigators with plenty of evidence, NYPD Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce said.
(Angus Mordant/for New York Daily News)
“We recovered about 32 pieces of evidence at the 59th St. location, with blood on clothing, substantial,” said Boyce. “There appears to be bleach on that clothing as well, in order to cover up the blood.”
An autopsy was performed at the Monmouth County Coroner’s Office. Boyce said officers were cutting down weeds in the remote wooded area where the body was found in hopes of turning up more evidence.
Comunale’s body was found in a shallow Jersey Shore grave.
(Thomas P. Costello/AP)
NYPD officers with a cadaver dog arrived at the Jersey Shore town early Wednesday after one of the suspects gave up the site of the dead man’s body.
Cops believe Rackover, whose father boasts an A-list clientele including Oprah Winfrey and Jennifer Lopez, loaded Comunale’s body into his Mercedes-Benz and drove the corpse south.
Police investigated the crime scene Tuesday, an E. 59th St. building where they say Comunale was brutally killed.
The burial spot was behind a florist’s shop in a grave just one foot deep, said Boyce.