NEW YORK — Police have discovered the body of a missing karaoke-loving ironworker who became a New York City sensation after serenading passers-by at a subway construction site.
The New York Police Department says Gary Russo was found dead in an apparent suicide Friday.
The 54-year-old was found hanging from a tree in a park in Queens. He had been missing since he left his home on July 28.
His car was found empty near a stretch of reeds in the outer-city neighborhood of Howard Beach earlier this month.
Russo had been dubbed the “Second Avenue Sinatra.”
Russo was helping build the future Second Avenue subway in Manhattan in July 2011 when he decided to sing on his lunch breaks. A bystander’s video drew national TV attention and high-profile gigs.
Friends and family say Gary had been depressed over a bad break up with a girlfriend. He was spotted hours before his disappearance at a Waldbaums in the Rockaways. And last month, he bought a $210 delta airlines ticket.
His black truck, locked with no keys, was found abandoned near the weeds just blocks from his home.
“I called his credit card company, there was a charge of two dollars on July 30th, four dollars on August 2nd,” Tracy Russo, Gary’s ex-wife, said. “Police are now looking at his financials.”
Gary even-co-authored a book with a psychologist, three years ago called “Don’t Die with Your Song Unsung.”
And now his ex-wife, his two daughters, and his large circle of friends just want him home, happy, safe and alive.
“He’s been a superhero and he got burned out,” Ms. Nebozenko said. “His weakness was rejection. He wanted to be loved by everybody.”