Bayside man’s remains found in woods

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The skeletal remains of a Bayside resident were discovered in Alley Pond Park in Oakland Gardens last week after a woman and her Dalmatian stumbled upon the bones deep in the woods.

Through dental records, the skeleton was identified as 55-year-old Abdul Ahmad of 64th Avenue, said Detective Madelyne Galindo, a police spokeswoman. The medical examiner’s office reported no outward signs of wrongful death, but they said toxicology tests were still to be conducted.

Ahmad had been reported missing by his wife, Rukhasana, in September after suffering from depression possibly due to financial difficulties, said an official familiar with the case.

The dissembled skeleton was found during the morning of April 4, near a fallen tree trunk and a fire pit, some 100 yards from PS 213, the Carl Ullman School, which abuts the park.

At the scene police found a black knapsack, white shirt, white pants and a pair of sandals. At the time they were not able to identify whether the clothes belonged to a man or a woman, but they believed the skeleton was an adult.

“You can’t ever say if it’s natural or not.” said Detective James Mooney of the 111th Precinct who is leading the investigation. “To draw conclusions that it’s a murder is way off base at this point.”

Hanging a few feet above the remains was a large white cloth knotted flaglike to two branches. Roxanne Rotman, the woman who discovered the remains, overheard police discussing the possibility of a self-inflicted death.

“If it was a suicide,” said Rotman, referring to the large, hanging cloth, “they wanted to be found.”

Rotman, 32, often lets her 6-1/2-year-old Dalmatian Norman roam free through the thickly wooded park. For more than a month the dog had been drawn to the same area, but Rotman thought little of it.

“This morning I decided to take a look to see what he was going to,” said Rotman, a dentist who lives in the area. “If he sees something, he’ll go and check it out. But in this area, he was gone for a while.”

When Rotman investigated, she found the dog nosing through what appeared to be a dissembled human skeleton. The bones were off to one side of the fire pit, separated from the skull, she said.

As a dentist Rotman is accustomed to working with bodies and bones and the discovery did not alarm her. Instead she was intrigued. She identified a femur bone and intact teeth within the skull, she said.

Last spring in nearby Oakland Lake, the remains of what was determined to be 20-year-old Steen Fenrich were found.

The bones — which had been dipped in acid and included a skull marked with a Social Security number as well as racial and anti-gay epitaphs — led detectives to the Fenrich household on Long Island.

After an eight-hour standoff, Fenrich’s stepfather, John, committed suicide. Before he killed himself, however, he said his stepson was gay and he confessed to his killing the year before.

Ahmad’s remains were identified in less than a day after the medical examiner compared the skeletal teeth to Ahmad’s dental records.

Determining the cause of death, however, can take much longer, said Sgt. Michael Grennan of the 111th Precinct. Referring to the extended Fenrich investigation, he said, “it took a long time for that one and that was a gunshot wound.”

Reach reporter Jennifer Warren by e-mail at or call 229-0300, Ext. 155.

Posted 7:03 pm, October 10, 2011
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