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Body of kidnapped Hasidic landlord found in dumpster

(JTA) — Thousands attended the funeral in Brooklyn for a kidnapped Hasidic real estate developer whose body was found a day earlier burning in a dumpster.

The funeral for Menachem Stark, 39, was held Saturday night in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn at the conclusion of the Sabbath. Most of the mourners were Satmar Hasidim.

Stark’s body was found late Friday afternoon on suburban Long Island some 16 miles away from his Williamsburg office, from where he was kidnapped the previous evening. The father of eight reportedly was suffocated before his body was placed in the dumpster outside a Great Neck gas station and burned, according to police.

Video footage taken from his office reportedly showed Stark being taken into a van after a struggle outside his office in heavily Satmar Williamsburg. The identify of his abductors is not known.

The family had offered a reward of $100,000 for his safe return.

Public records show Stark has a string of foreclosures and a $1.3 million judgment against him, according to reports. A police source told the New York Daily News that Stark “had many enemies.” Some have accused him of being a slumlord, according to the newspaper.

At the funeral, family members and religious leaders praised his charitable giving, much of which was done anonymously.

 

 

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