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Dead body

Huntington High School. File Photo

Suffolk County police have confirmed that a dead man was found on the grounds of Huntington High School on Monday afternoon.

Suffolk homicide detectives and crime scene vans were spotted on the periphery of the district’s property off Oakwood Road. Police have not released the identity of the adult male, but confirmed the death appears to be noncriminal at this time.

James Polansky, superintendent of Huntington school district, said no students, staff or school community members are in any way involved in the incident.

“There was never any concern regarding student or staff safety,” Polansky said.

The superintendent said upon hearing of the discovery he headed out to the join police officers at the site for several hours and confirm what facts could be ascertained. The district is fully cooperating with police investigations, Polansky said.

“It’s an unfortunate incident and equally unfortunately it happened on school grounds,” he said. 

This post will be updated as more information becomes available. Last updated 5:50 p.m. March 19. 


Greenlawn Park was taped off Saturday morning after a dead body with lacerations was discovered at the end of August. File photo by Gabriella Espinoza

A man walking in Greenlawn Park Aug. 20, discovered a dead body with significant lacerations.

The man flagged down a passing motorist who called 911 at 7:11 a.m. and Second Precinct officers responded.

The body was transported to the Suffolk County medical examiner’s office to determine the cause of death.

Police said Wednesday that the body was identified as 18-year-old Estiven Abrego Gomez, of Greenlawn,

Suffolk County Police Homicide Squad detectives are investigating the death. Anyone with information on the incident is asked to call the detectives at 631-852-6392 or call anonymously to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS.

Sarah Strobel was found dead in Suffolk County park in 2013

Fernando Romualdo mugshot from SCPD

A young woman’s alleged murderer has been arrested in Suffolk County, more than two years after police found her dead body in a nature preserve, shocking her community.

The Suffolk County Police Department announced on Thursday that they had charged 28-year-old Fernando Romualdo with second-degree murder in the case of Sarah Strobel, whose lifeless body was found in the Froehlich Farm Nature Preserve in October 2013.

Attorney information for the suspect, a Huntington Station resident, was not immediately available on the New York State court system’s online database.

Romualdo was incarcerated at the Mohawk Correctional Facility in upstate Rome on an unrelated charge but is now being held without bail at the county jail in Riverhead. According to the New York State Department of Corrections’ inmate database, he was sentenced to three years for second-degree rape last year, with his earliest possible release date in March 2018.

The 23-year-old murder victim, herself a Huntington Station resident who lived just a few blocks away from the defendant, was discovered at the Huntington nature preserve, near West Rogues Path, shortly before 9 a.m. on Oct. 3, 2013. Police said that day that a person walking on a path in the park noticed the body of an adult female off to the side of the path and called police. Authorities later identified her as Strobel and deemed her death criminal in nature.

Above, a scene from a candlelight vigil where friends of 23-year-old Sarah Strobel gathered. Photo from Taylor Friedman
Above, a scene from a candlelight vigil where friends of 23-year-old Sarah Strobel gathered. Photo from Taylor Friedman

Shortly after she was found dead, a friend of Strobel’s said the walking path was a favorite hiking spot of the victim’s. That friend, Taylor Friedman, helped organize a candlelight vigil to pay tribute to the young woman, a 2008 Walt Whitman High School graduate in the South Huntington school district.

“Sarah was a free spirit and a wise soul,” Friedman said at the time. “She lived her life to the fullest and made the best of any situation whether it was bad or good.”

Strobel was also honored in July 2015, when Huntington Station residents came together to honor several youths who had been killed over the last few years and dedicated both trees and a memorial stone to those victims at Depot Road Park.

In addition to Strobel, the community remembered the lives of 18-year-old Maggie Rosales, who was found stabbed to death, lying on Lynch Street in October 2014, and 25-year-old Danny Carbajal, who was shot in the head outside his home in July 2014. While a Huntington Station man has been prosecuted for Rosales’ murder, Carbajal’s death remains unsolved.

The deaths spurred community efforts to make Huntington Station a safer place.

Friends, family and town officials gather to remember Maggie Rosales, Danny Carbajal and Sarah Strobel in Huntington Station on Thursday. Three trees were planted in their honor. Photo by Mary Beth Steenson Kraese
Friends, family and town officials gather to remember Maggie Rosales, Danny Carbajal and Sarah Strobel in Huntington Station on Thursday. Three trees were planted in their honor. Photo by Mary Beth Steenson Kraese

Park rangers would monitor Huntington Station parks to give a greater sense of police presence to the area. Stock photo

After a slew of violent incidents in Huntington Station, town Supervisor Frank Petrone (D) has proposed using park rangers to help monitor the area and improve security.

In the past two months, Suffolk County Police Department has publicly reported two dead bodies found in Huntington and three shootings in the area. Residents have asked officials at town board meetings for resolutions to the safety issue.

According to town spokesman A.J. Carter, the town plans to hire three to four park rangers, who would be recently retired or active but off-duty policemen and have the same powers as peace officers.

Although their jurisdiction specifically would be town parks, Carter said the park rangers would be allowed to intervene if they see activity on the roads or other areas outside the parks.

Huntington Station borders the Froehlich Farm Nature Preserve, where the body of a young woman was found in 2013, and includes the following parks within the neighborhood: Gateway Park on New York Avenue at Lowndes Avenue; Manor Field Park on East 5th Street; Depot Road Park; and Fair Meadows Park on East Pulaski Road and Park Avenue.

According to New York State criminal procedure law, peace officers can make warrantless arrests, use physical force to make an arrest or prevent an escape, carry out warrantless searches with probable cause and issue appearance tickets, among other powers. They can also carry firearms and take away weapons from people who do not have the proper licenses to carry.

All peace officers in New York need to go through a special training program.

Carter said Petrone has spent months researching the idea.

Many other towns on Long Island use systems like this, including Smithtown, which has a park ranger division comprised of “law enforcement personnel” acting as peace officers in town-owned facilities to “enforce town codes, parks rules and regulations, as well as state and federal laws,” according to Smithtown’s website.

Smithtown park rangers work in conjunction with Suffolk police, and Carter said Huntington plans to do the same. Duties for Smithtown rangers include preserving town property, deterring crime, arresting offenders and assisting in searches for missing persons.

“It’s another presence in the community with the ability to make arrests,” Carter said in a phone interview.

The town spokesman also said the money to hire peace officers would be taken from the part of the budget set aside for additional seasonal hires.

As for information on uniforms, salary, shift schedules and more, Carter said the program is still in the works and no other news is available at the moment.

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File photo

Homicide Squad detectives are investigating the murder of a man who was found in Huntington early Wednesday morning.

Suffolk County Police Department 2nd Precinct officers responded to Clinton Avenue at 3:17 a.m. after a 911 caller reported that a man was unconscious and covered in blood. When officers arrived, they found Bay Shore resident Edwin Rivera, 39, lying on the ground next to his 2015 Mercedes.

Rivera was transported by Huntington Community First Aid Squad to Huntington Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. His death has been ruled criminal and an autopsy will be performed by the Office of the Suffolk County Medical Examiner to determine the cause.

Rivera’s is the second dead body found in Huntington this week. Early Sunday morning, May 22, officers found the body of 33-year-old William Sarcenolima, who lives in Huntington Station, partially in the roadway on West Hills Road in Huntington Station. Sarcenolima was pronounced dead at Huntington Hospital. His body was then transported to the Suffolk County medical examiner’s office for an autopsy. Police have not yet announced a cause of death, but said at the time the body was found that Sarcenolima may have been a victim of violence.

Anyone with information is asked to call Homicide Squad detectives at 631-852-6392 or call anonymously to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS.

File photo

A man found dead and partially in a roadway early Sunday morning might have been the victim of violence, the Suffolk County Police Department said.

The body was found in that position on West Hills Road in Huntington Station at about 4 a.m. that day. Police responded to the scene, between 7th and 8th avenues.

Police said the victim, 33-year-old William Sarcenolima, who lives in Huntington Station, was pronounced dead at Huntington Hospital. His body was then transported to the Suffolk County medical examiner’s office.

An upcoming autopsy will determine how Sarcenolima died, police said, but detectives from the SCPD’s Homicide Squad are investigating the circumstances surrounding the death.

Anyone with information is asked to call the detectives at 631-852-6392, or to call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 800-220-TIPS.

File photo from Margo Arceri

Story last updated 4.11.2016, 1:30 p.m.

Police have identified the body found near a beach off Setauket Harbor on Monday morning, linking him back to an emergency crash-landing that happened nearby in February, Suffolk County cops said.

Gerson Salmon-Negron, 23, was last seen shortly after 11 p.m. on Feb. 20 when the Piper Archer four-seated airplane he was in went down in the waters of Setauket Harbor with three others on board. His body was finally found on Monday morning after a 911 call told dispatchers about a body spotted on the beach near Brewster Lane in Setauket around 9:10 a.m., the Suffolk County Police Department said.

The three other men, student pilot Austricio Ramirez, 25, Nelson Gomez, 36, and Wady Perez, 25, were rescued by nearby neighbors and officers soon after the crash. The small plane had taken off from Fitchburg, Mass., en route to Republic Airport in Farmingale, but went down near the vicinity of 108 Van Brunt Manor Road in Poquott. The incident spurred residents living on the Strongs Neck side of the water to jump into action as soon as they noticed emergency vehicles making their way into the small North Shore community.

Related: Small plane crash-lands in Setauket Harbor

As the incident unfolded, residents living along the shoreline started offering up their personal kayaks for rescuers to use to lift the survivors out to safety.

“Where this occurred, there are only a few homes, but instantly, the neighbors pulled together,” resident Margo Arceri said in a previous interview after the crash occurred. “They say, ‘it takes a village,’ and these neighbors showed a real sense of community. We all pulled together immediately. I just wish it had a happier ending.”

In a report released in March, the National Transportation Safety Board said that aircraft reported low amounts of fuel and had been operated for about five hours since its tank was last filled. The report said the plane’s engine “sputtered” as it approached the Port Jefferson area, spurring the flight instructor to turn on the electric fuel pump and instructing his student pilot to switch the fuel selector to the plane’s left fuel tank as it flew at around 2,000 feet. The sputtering stopped, but started up again about three minutes later, the NTSB said, and then lost power.

That was when the pilot instructor took control of the plane and tried heading to the shoreline, where he believed the plane could safely land, the NTSB report said. But the pilot was unable to see the shoreline due to the darkness and could only guess where the shoreline began by the lights inside of nearby houses, the report said.

He held the plane off of the water for as long as he could before touching down and instructing everyone to grab a life vest and exit the plane, the NTSB said. Neither the student pilot nor the passengers, however, were wearing life vests when they exited the plane, the report said. Emergency personnel were on the scene within minutes and rescued three of the four men.

The airplane floated in the water for about five minutes before sinking nose-first to the bottom of the harbor, the NTSB said.

Divers with the Suffolk County Police Department pursue the aircraft as the missing person search continues. Photo from Margo Arceri
Divers with the Suffolk County Police Department search for Gerson Salmon-Negron’s body shortly after the plane crash-landed. File photo from Margo Arceri

Divers with the Suffolk County Police Department pursue the aircraft as the missing person search continues. Photo from Margo Arceri

Story last updated on 3.22.16, at 11:20 a.m.

By Elana Glowatz

A dead body found on a beach near Port Jefferson Harbor is not the man who went missing following a plane’s crash-landing at the end of February.

The Suffolk County Police Department said Thursday that Homicide Unit detectives are investigating the man’s death, but it appears he drowned. Authorities identified him as 28-year-old Marlon Lewis, who is homeless.

A Port Jefferson Village code enforcement officer found the body at about 1:45 p.m., police said, at which point police officers responded to the scene at the beach.

Code Chief Wally Tomaszewski said in a phone interview that the code bureau’s Sgt. Steve Grau spotted Lewis’ body in the water near the Centennial Park beach from his position on the village’s dock, in front of the Village Center. The sergeant originally thought the victim was a woman because he was in a dress, according to the chief.

Tomaszewski said the code officers have seen Lewis around the village for the last five years or so, usually uptown in the morning, and he would get food at a soup kitchen in the downtown area on Mondays.

According to police, the Suffolk County medical examiner’s office will perform an autopsy.

Lewis’ body washed up almost four weeks after a small plane, carrying four people, crash-landed in Setauket Harbor near Poquott.

The Piper PA-28 had taken off from Fitchburg, Mass., and was headed for Republic Airport in Farmingdale on Feb. 20 when it experienced engine trouble and the student pilot, 25-year-old Bronx resident Austricio Ramirez, handed the controls over to his instructor.

The National Transportation Safety Board released a report two weeks later that said the aircraft, flying at about 2,000 feet, had low amounts of fuel and had been operating for about five hours since last having its tank filled. The engine eventually lost power and the instructor, 36-year-old Queens resident Nelson Gomez, tried to head for the shoreline, but it was too dark to see it.

That’s when the instructor landed the plane on the water, and told his passengers to take a life vest and exit the plane. However, according to the NTSB report, they were not wearing the vests when they got out of the plane, which floated for about five minutes before sinking nose-first.

Emergency personnel rescued Ramirez, Gomez and a third man, Wady Perez, a 25-year-old from Queens. But the fourth passenger, 23-year-old Queens man Gerson Salmon-Negron, is still missing.

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Suffolk County Police Department detectives are investigating an incident in which a man’s body was found near a sandbar along the Kings Park Bluff. File photo by Rachel Shapiro

Suffolk County Police pulled a man’s body from the waters at Kings Park Bluff on Saturday.

The county police department responded to an incident during which a car plunged into the Kings Park Bluff waters around 10:40 p.m. on Friday night, authorities said. Marine Bureau divers investigated the scene soon after.

But the following morning, around 7:35 a.m., police received a 911 call reporting a body on a sandbar in the river.

Marine Bureau divers once again responded and recovered the body of an adult male. Police described the man’s location as “a distance away” from where the vehicle went into the water.

It was unclear if police knew the man’s identity, and it was not immediately known that it was his vehicle in the water.

The vehicle was removed from the water on Monday and the incident was classified as noncriminal, police said.

The county’s Homicide Squad detectives were still investigating the incident.

Police say incident is not criminal

A man in a New York Police Department jacket and two others in suits observe the brush next to North Country Road Middle School after a body was discovered there Monday morning. Photo by Barbara Donlon

Suffolk County police responded to a report of a dead body found in Miller Place within feet of the North Country Road Middle School early Monday morning.

Police did not provide any information on the body, which was found close to the building on Lower Rocky Point Road. Police described the incident as “noncriminal” in nature.

Cops received a call this morning reporting the discovery. The caller told police that the body was found just north of the school.

At 2:30 p.m. Monday, a man wearing a New York City Police Department jacket with a police patch was observed browsing the brush next to the school, flanked by other men dressed in suits.

No marked police vehicles were visible at the scene.