New York police on Thursday charged two people in the killing of a 26-year-old Connecticut man whose body was found with 15 stab wounds and hidden inside a suitcase, according to reports.
The arrests came a day after the body of the victim, Joseph Comunale, was discovered, the suitcase buried in a shallow grave in New Jersey. He had last been seen alive Saturday night, entering a Manhattan high-rise apartment.
James Rackover, 25, and Lawrence Dilione, 28, are charged with second-degree murder, concealment of a human corpse and tampering with physical evidence.
Dilione, owner and operator of Shore Point Roofing Co., according to his LinkedIn profile,is also charged with hindering prosecution.
Comunale went to a party at The Grand Sutton at 418 E. 59th St., with two men and three women he met at nightclub that evening, according to reports. Rackover lives in the building, authorities said.
At some point, an argument broke out in the fourth-floor apartment, and police said Comunale was stabbed repeatedly in the chest.
Comunale’s father reported his son missing on Monday.
NYPD Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce said the suspects attempted to burn the body, and added that gasoline was found at the scene, ABC7 reported.
NYPD said evidence of foul play was discovered at the Upper East Side apartment.
“We have blood on clothing and there appears to be bleach on that clothing as well, to cover up the blood,” Boyce said, ABC7 reported.
Rackover is the son of jeweler Jeffrey Rackover, whose clients have included Oprah Winfrey, Jennifer Lopez and soon-to-be-first lady Melania Trump, according to New York Daily News.
A spokesman for Jeffrey Rackover told ABC7 that James is not his biological son but that the older man took him in “and treated him like a son to try to keep him out of trouble.”
Jeffrey Rackover, who also lives in the building, has hired an attorney for James Rackover, according to reports.