Mutilated murder victim found near Van Wyck

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The body of a man burned beyond recognition was found last week in the bushes underneath South Conduit Avenue at 134th Street and 149th Avenue in South Ozone Park.

It was originally thought the body, which was found near John F. Kennedy International Airport at 3:51 p.m. July 4 by a livery cab driver who went into the bushes to urinate, had been decapitated, police said. But police later determined the victim was not decapitated but had suffered a crushing blow to the right side of his skull.

At the crime scene last Wednesday, Inspector William Morris, commander of the 113th Precinct, said the livery driver alerted the police to the crime. He said the police were expanding the area around where the body was found for their investigation.

About 35 feet from the body there appeared to be a body part that had been attached to a telephone at eye level. Morris refused to identify the body part or confirm that it had been removed from the body found nearby.

At the scene NYPD and Port Authority officers, who were photographing and discussing the severed body part, said it had been skewered with some sort of wire, put in a sack and then attached to the pole.

Police said the livery cab driver, who worked for Skyline Limousines, found the body when he smelled a noxious odor and then called 911.

It was not known how long the body had been in the bushes before it was found.

Ellen Borakove, a spokeswoman for the medical examiner''s office, said the cause of death was "homicidal violence," which included a crushing injury to the head and multiple bullet wounds to the man''s torso.

As of press time the victim had not been identified, no one had been arrested in connection with the murder and police were still investigating.

P. Singh, a driver for Skyline for the past two years, said the company''s drivers usually meet and wait for assignments at 149th Avenue, which is about 300 yards behind the Ramada Inn at Kennedy Airport, two blocks away from a city sanitation station and a block from the Belt Parkway service road.

"It is the only place where we can park and sit," he said. "Normally there are about 15 to 20 cars on 149th Avenue, but when it gets very hot we go wait under the bridge."

At the crime scene there were more then 30 officers from the 113th Precinct, which covers the area stretching from South Jamaica to Springfield Gardens and from St. Albans to South Ozone Park as well as officers from the Port Authority Police.

Reach reporter Adam Kramer by e-mail at or call 229-0300, Ext. 157.

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