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Richmond Hill man found shot dead in parked auto

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The dead body of a Richmond Hill man who was shot in the head and neck was found Friday in the back of a car parked at the corner of 125th Street and 116th Avenue by a passerby in South Ozone Park, police said.

The resident called the police at 4:30 p.m. and said the victim, later identified as Steven Pineda, 31, of 97-38 105th St., was unconscious. Police on the scene pronounced the man dead on arrival after he sustained multiple gunshot wounds to the head and neck.

Pineda, who police confirmed was reported missing Oct. 16, was found in the back seat of a green Pontiac Bonneville.

Local residents crowded around the police line that sealed the crime scene off from anyone but police personnel. Neighbors traded rumors and expressed shock at the violent nature of the crime.

“This neighborhood has been really crazy lately,” one resident said. “This was a nice, quiet neighborhood.”

There has been a 66.6 percent increase in the number of murders so far this year in the 106th Precinct, which covers South Ozone Park, with a total of five having been reported, according to New York Police Department statistics. But the number of reported rape, robbery and burglary cases have decreased throughout the precinct.

Another resident who lives directly across from the car said he was unsure how long the Pontiac had been parked there. He did say, however, that he noticed the car several times while he was walking up the block to his aunt’s house.

“I must have passed that car four times,” he said.

Other neighborhood residents were unfamiliar with the car, including the family in the house in front of which the Pontiac was parked.

Police said no arrests had been made in the case and the investigation was ongoing.

Reach reporter Alex Davidson by e-mail at TimesLedger@aol.com or by phone at 229-0300, Ext. 156

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