Today’s news:

Two men found dead in Howard Beach brush fire: Police

Police block off 78th Street and the corner of 159th Avenue for the investigation. Photo by Christina Santucci
TimesLedger Newspapers

Two men were found dead in the smoldering remains of a brush fire in Howard Beach Wednesday morning, cops said, and Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said he did not believe the bodies were there for long.

“The fire was started apparently to cover up the crime,” he said on NY1.

According to the NYPD, the fire started at the corner of 159th Avenue and 78th Street at an undeveloped grassy area near the Belt Parkway and was reported around 4:30 a.m. After the flame was put out, police found the bodies of two black men, DCPI said.

A man who lives nearby was at the scene as the medical examiner removed the bodies. He said he suspected the men were victims of the mafia.

“This is a good dumping ground since it’s out of the way,” John Toomey said.

He said bodies had been left in the area for years.

Reach reporter Karen Frantz by e-mail at or by phone at 718-260-4538.

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