A building maintenance man whose body was found in a shallow grave in a Brooklyn backyard had a plastic garbage bag tied around his head, police sources said Monday.
Detectives are looking into whether the 41-year-old victim – who mysteriously quit his job in a text message and hadn’t been seen in several days – was snuffed out by the man who used to hold his job, sources said.
An anonymous phone call to detectives Thursday morning led police to a two-story beige house on Himrod St. near Evergreen Ave. in Bushwick, sources said.
The tipster said the victim was strangled in another building on Himrod, and the killer moved and buried his body, sources said.
At first, police were rebuffed by the home’s occupants, one of whom challenged detectives to get a warrant, but Thursday night, detectives climbed the roof of a neighboring house to get a better look, sources said.
They spied the backyard, and noticed some disturbed dirt under a tree.
Cops returned the next day, and got consent to search the yard. An NYPD K-9 unit led detectives right to a shallow grave in the rear corner of the backyard, near a shovel, a pick axe and a can of air freshener, sources said.
There, they found the victim, rotting in a black plastic garbage bag. A second bag was wrapped around his head.
The city medical examiner’s office said Monday that his cause of death is inconclusive, pending further tests.
Police have not released the victim’s name. Sources said they’ve confirmed his identification, but investigators are having a hard time finding next of kin to notify.
One friend – the 51-year-old super of the building where the victim lived – said his father, mother and brother are all deceased.
The victim recently had been hired as the porter of another building on Himrod, across the street from where his body was found, and that didn’t sit well with the man who used to hold the job.
“He was in high spirits, ready to go to work. He was just a good person,” the victim’s friend said. “He was just doing a good job.”
The friend, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said he worked as a porter for 10 buildings. The victim and the previous porter were friends, he said.
“They knew each other, they weren’t enemies,” the friend said. “I thought everything was cool, everything was good.”
Video shows a man – later identified by investigators as the man who used to hold the victim’s job – and a woman pushing a red folding shopping cart with a black plastic bag, on the night of Sept. 27, lifting the cart up the stairs and into a building on Himrod St., sources said.
The next day just after 3 a.m., the man is seen rolling the cart back out of the building, with a bag of charcoal and two bags of lighter fluid on top of it, sources said.
Cops have not yet made any arrests.