James Rackover insists he has never met Joseph Comunale, has never heard of him and definitely had nothing to do with the Connecticut man's death.
Speaking from the Manhattan Detention Complex where he is being held on $3 million bond in connection with Comunale's stabbing death, Rackover, 25, was adament about his innocence.
“This is complete bulls—,” he told the New York Daily News on Sunday. “I’ve never seen this kid. I don’t even know who he is.”
Comunale's body was discovered on Nov. 16 with 15 stab wounds, buried in a shallow grave behind a flower shop in a town on the New Jersey shore.
Rackover and his friend, Lawrence Dilione, have been charged with second-degree murder, concealment of a human corpse and tampering with physical evidence. Authorities say the pair tried to burn Comunale's body with gasoline to hide the evidence. Dilione is being held on the same bail amount.
Investigators are still trying to determine who actually killed Comunale.
Comunale, 26, was last seen alive on the night of Nov. 13 at Rackover’s luxury Midtown Manhattan apartment. Witnesses said they saw Rackover place a large duffel bag into his 2015 Mercedes Benz that night, DNAinfo reported.
Other news media reported that Rackover had requested a luggage cart be sent to his door that night at the high-rise apartment on East 59th Street.
The accused maintains he never saw the victim and wasn't aware of his death until after his arrest.
Rackover claims he was at home watching an Ultimate Fighting Championship that Saturday evening, and that he never left his apartment. He acknowledged that Dilione stopped by with a group of people at 4 a.m., and continued to party until 7 a.m. Authorities have said that Comunale was seen walking into the building with two men and two women, all of whom he had met that night.
Rackover told The Daily News that the next day he watched football with his surrogate father, Jeffrey Rackover, who is a prominent Manhattan jeweler.
Meanwhile, Dilione has reportedly told authorities he and another man took Comunale’s body to a town in New Jersey, next to where Dilione ran a roofing business, the New York Post reported.