BROOKLYN – Two brothers were arrested in connection with the 2014 abduction and slaying of a Brooklyn real estate developer whose body was found in a Long Island dumpster, according to the NYPD.
Erskin Felix, 38, was charged Thursday with the murder and kidnapping of Menachem Stark, 39 – a prominent member of the an ultra-Orthodox sect, police said.
“This defendant is alleged to be the mastermind whose plot to kidnap Menachem Stark and extort money from him ended with his death," Acting District Attorney Eric Gonzalez said.
Felix's brother Kendel Felix, 28, faces hindering prosecution and tampering with physical evidence charges. Their cousin Kendel Felix, arrested in 2014, was also charged in Stark's killing.
Video surveillance shows two masked men grabbing Stark at his Brooklyn office doorstep and thrusting him into a van on a snowy night on Jan. 2. Erskin and Kendel Felix allegedly planned to extort Stark for money, but accidentally killed him. Stark struggled with his abductors and one of them allegedly sat on his chest and asphyxiated him.
The alleged kidnappers called Kendel Felix to help them dispose of Stark. His body was found a day later miles away in the dumpster of a Great Neck, Long Island gas station, authorities say.
A father of seven, Stark has been described in 2014 as an honest family man eager to help his neighbors and friends. But he also was criticized for keeping some of his buildings in disrepair.
He renovated several buildings in Brooklyn but owed millions of dollars.
Erskin Felix faces up to 25 years to life in prison if convicted. His brother faces up to seven years imprisonment if convicted. Both are awaiting arraignment.