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Murder suspect gave up location of Hofstra grad Joseph Comunale after call with victim’s father

March 9, 2018  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
Murder suspect gave up location of Hofstra grad Joseph Comunale after call with victim’s father

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A hardened homicide investigator with the NYPD teared up on the witness stand Tuesday as he recalled the worried-sick parents of slain Hofstra student Joseph Comunale in the days before his body was discovered.

“I got parents who are looking for the kid,” Retired NYPD investigator Raymond Reuther said he told Lawrence (Larry) Dilone, the suspect. “And they don’t know if he’s alive or dead.”

It was soon discovered that 26-year-old Joseph Comunale was dead after he was beaten, stabbed and buried in New Jersey back in November 2016. The man was killed after a night of out-of-control partying at an apartment in New York City.

In the days after Comunale went missing, Reuther managed to play on Dilione’s emotions to get information about where the body was left, according to the New York Daily News.

“I told him I have four kids; I would want to know,” Reuther remembers.

The body ofJoseph Comunale, 26, was discovered in Oceanport, N.J. (HANDOUT)

The 29-year-old suspect finally told authorities where Comunale’s body was located after the investigator put the suspect on the phone with his father.

Michael Pappa, Dilione’s attorney, summoned Reuther to the witness stand Tuesday in hopes that the judge will determine that the confession would be inadmissible at trial.

Dilione confessed to punching the victim after a fight over cigarettes but said it was his co-defendant, James Rackover, 26, who brutally choked and repeatedly stabbed the man from Connecticut to kill him, so that no one would discover what they had done.

The two men reportedly cleaned up the bloody crime scene with bleach and brought the body to Oceanport, N.J., where Dilione resided.

In the desperate two days after Comunale’s disappearance, it was the phone call with Dilione’s father in the interrogation room that helped solve the case.

Lawrence Dilione (right) and James Rackover (left)

“I heard Larry talking to his father, telling him everything will be all right,” Reuther added. “Dilione began crying, and I started asking him if Joey was in New Jersey.”

He then asked if Comunale’s remains were in the large lot behind his father’s home or at the Monmouth Park racetrack. The longtime investigator had a hunch that the body was in one of those two locations based on video surveillance.

“He started looking at me and then he said, ‘He’s not far from my father’s house,’ ” Reuther continued.

Dilone said Comunale’s body was “behind the florist.”

He had not yet been read his rights and had legal representation at the time he provided the information, which was a violation of his rights, according to Pappa.

Justice James Burke will have to determine whether the statement and possibly crime scene evidence, including the finding of the body, will be presented to and considered by the jury.

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