The NYPD has released surveillance footage of the alleged kidnapping of South Williamsburg real estate developer, Menachem "Max" Stark. The 39-year-old has been missing since 11:45 p.m. on Thursday night; his family has offered a $100,000 reward for his return.
Authorities say that shortly after Stark exited his real estate company's offices at 331 Rutledge Street, he was approached by two men, who forced him into a light-colored Dodge Caravan after a brief struggle. When he didn't come home, Stark's wife Bashy Stark initially called Orthodox watch group Shomrim, alerting cops a few hours later.
The NYPD says the vehicle was last seen traveling eastbound on Broadway, and the Stark family has not heard from the alleged kidnappers. "We’re waiting for a phone call (from the suspects) with demands, just hoping that he is still alive,” Yitzy Stark, the victim's brother, told the Daily News. “We’ll do anything they ask. We don’t want to think that he’s not alive. We hope he is alive."
Stark was reportedly carrying $4,000 in cash at the time of his disappearance; according to the Daily News, he had been plagued with financial issues recently, and blog Failed Messiah referred to him as a "slumlord".
Update 10:44 a.m.: The Post and the Daily News report that Nassau County Investigators have discovered a burned body they believe belongs to Menachem Stark. The body was found in a dumpster in Great Neck on Long Island last night; the NYPD has not confirmed the body is Stark's, and the medical examiner is currently determining the cause of death.
Update 2:03 p.m.: The Post claims police sources have confirmed the body found in a Long Island dumpster is the missing Stark. The tabloid says a gas station attendant discovered the body, which was badly burned, around 4 p.m. yesterday.