The badly decomposed body of a young man who had been missing for a week was found behind the Seville Diner in Douglaston Saturday afternoon, police said, after a mysterious anonymous phone caller contacted the mans family.
Community Affairs Officer Anthony Lombardi of the 111th Precinct said the body found Saturday afternoon has been tentatively identified as Miguel Angel Martinez, 20, because Martinezs book bag was found at the scene. Police said he was from the Murray Hill section of Flushing.
Martinezs cousin told police she received a call from an unidentified man Saturday who told her she could find her cousins book bag behind the diner where he worked, Lombardi said.
The cousin went to the diner later that day and found Martinezs book bag in a wooded area behind the restaurant, Lombardi said. She then called police, he said.
The body was found during a subsequent police search of the area when an officer noticed a foot protruding from a garbage can near the book bag, Lombardi said. It appeared the body was badly decomposed, he said, and the city medical examiner was expected to determine the cause of death.
A spokesman for the Seville Diner, where the body was found at 231-10 Northern Blvd. in Douglaston, refused to comment on the case or confirm Martinezs employment with the restaurant. The spokesman said only that the diner was closed during the Saturday afternoon police investigation and reopened Sunday morning.
Martinezs family could not be reached for comment as of presstime Tuesday. Police gave the young mans address as 147-25 Northern Blvd., Murray Hill.
While the circumstances surrounding Martinezs death were unclear, his death could mark the first homicide in the 111th Precinct so far this year.
The 111th Precinct, which includes the communities of Bayside, Little Neck, Douglaston, Oakland Gardens, Auburndale and parts of Flushing and Hollis Hills, is often referred to as the country club because of its perpetually low rates of violent crimes.
Reach reporter Kathianne Boniello by e-mail at Timesledgr@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 146.
©2001 Community News Group
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