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Middle Village man found strangled inside Elmhurst hotel room: NYPD

Members of the NYPD's Crime Scene Unit carry evidence bags from the hotel to their van. Photo by Christina Santucci
TimesLedger Newspapers

A 54-year-old Middle Village man was found strangled in an Elmhurst hotel room Saturday night, police sources said.

Joseph Benzinger was found dead at around 11:40 p.m. inside a room at the Crown Motor Inn, located at 71-01 Queens Blvd., police said.

Benzinger suffered from lacerations on his hand and his head and suffered bruising around his neck, according to the NYPD. The 54-year-old appeared to have been strangled, a police said, though Benzinger’s official cause of death will not be determined until an autopsy is performed.

Cops are treating the incident as a homicide, and police had not made any arrests as of Sunday night.

The Crown Motor Inn has been the site of violence in the past.

In the summer of 2003, then 28-year-old Juan Batista of Corona allegedly hanged his 2-year-old son from a shower rod inside the motel, according to the Queens district attorney’s office.. Batista later pleaded guilty to the crime in 2005, according to the DA.

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