GRAMERCY, Manhattan – Police arrested two men in connection to the stabbing death of a Connecticut man who was stabbed 15 times, police said.
Joey Comunale, 26, was found buried in a shallow grave in New Jersey, police said.
Police charged James Rackover, 25, and Lawrence Dilione, 28, with second-degree murder, concealment of a human corpse and tampering with physical evidence. Dilione was also hit with hindering the prosecution.
Law enforcement sources say Rackover changed his last name from Beaudoin after meeting famed jeweler Jeffrey Rackover in New York City. Their relationship is not known at this time.
The 25-year-old has a lengthy history of arrests in Florida with charges including burglary, armed robbery and drug possession.
Comunale left his home in Stamford Saturday for a night of partying in Greenwich village, police said. He left a party early Sunday after he was invited to an Upper East Side apartment on E. 59th Street for drinks.
He was stabbed to death inside the luxury building and stuffed into a suitcase, police said. The culprit drove his body 55 miles away to Oceanport, New Jersey, dumped Comunale’s remains behind a flower shop and attempted to burn the body. Gasoline was found at the 1-foot deep grave.
Police chopped down weeds in the area to look for more evidence, Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce said. Officers recovered 32 pieces of evidence at the 59th Street location. Blood was found splattered onto the walls of the apartment. Police also found bottles of bleach, which they believe were used in an attempt to cover up the murder.
Comunale was one of a kind, his father, Pat Comunale, said.
“He touched everybody who came in contact with him, loved him,” Pat Comunale said. “He didn’t deserve this, he didn’t go looking for trouble.”