Though Williamsburg landlord Menachem Stark owed millions of dollars to multiple creditors, the kidnapping that led to his death was likely ordered over a single debt of $20,000, according to police investigators.
A contractor that Stark owed roughly that amount to is now a leading suspect in the homicide, according to police. The contractor has connections to both the van that was used to abduct Stark outside his Williamsburg office, police said, and a cellphone that was found attached to the undercarriage of the slain developer’s car.
Police found the van used in the kidnapping on Tuesday, the New York Daily News reported. Though the owner of the van is not considered a suspect in the case, he did have ties to the contractor in question, police sources told the newspaper.
The sources added that Stark may have been accidentally suffocated while he was in the kidnappers’ custody.
A source close to the Stark family told the newspaper that Stark’s longtime business partner Israel Perlmutter would assume control of Stark’s share of the real estate business the pair ran together. [NYDN] – Hiten Samtani