Arrest Made In NYC Gay Murder
New York City police have arrested a 22 year-old man in connection to one of the three strangling murders of middle-aged gay men that have occurred in the last two weeks.
The victim, Joseph Benzinger, 54, of Middle Village, was found with a shirt wrapped around his neck Saturday night in a room at the Crown Motor Inn on Queens Boulevard. Lleuyel Garcia of Manhattan was charged early Thursday with his murder and robbery. Benzinger and Garcia had a sexual relationship prior to the killing, cops said. A police source said Garcia stole the victim's wallet and cell phone and that detectives use cell phone records to track the suspect down. Garcia implicated himself in the crime by admitting he was at the motel, the source said. Benzinger is the third gay man strangled in recent weeks. David Rangel, 53, was killed in his Jackson Heights, Queens, apartment Jan. 26, and Charles Romo, 48, was slain in his Hamilton Heights apartment two days later. Both killings remain unsolved.The police have not said if they suspect Garcia of the other two murders.