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Suspects Connected To Stamford Man's Death Not Arraigned On Murder Charges

Joey Comunale was a graduate of Westhill High School and Hofstra University. Photo Credit: Instagram
The body of Joey Comunale, who was reported missing Sunday, was found Wednesday in New Jersey. Photo Credit: Facebook

STAMFORD, Conn. — The two men taken into custody in connection with the stabbing death of a Stamford man were arrested on charges of second-degree murder, but neither one was actually arraigned on that charge in court, according to CBS New York.

Bond was set at $3 million for James Rackover, 25, of Manhattan and Lawrence Dilione, 28, of Jersey City, N.J., who were each arraigned late Thursday on charges of hindering prosecution, tampering with physical evidence and concealment of a corpse, CBS New York said Friday.

The New York Police Department is seeking more evidence into the death of Joseph Comunale, a 26-year-old from Stamford, who was stabbed 15 times early Sunday at a luxury apartment on Manhattan's Upper East Side, police told CBS New York. 

In court, Assistant District Attorney Antoinette Carter said “one or both of these people committed a murder,” according to CBS New York.

Police are also investigating whether a third person was involved in committing the homicide or in covering it up, according to CBS New York.

After Comunale was stabbed multiple times, his body was thrown from a fourth-floor apartment window and buried in a shallow grave in Monmouth County, N.J., police said. His body was partially burned before it was buried in the remote area, police said. 

James Rackover was born James Arthur Beaudoin and was arrested multiple times for burglary, armed robbery, and drug possession in Florida, according to the Daily Mail.

He moved to New York City and was taken under the wing of jeweler-to-the-stars Jeffrey Rackover, who treated James as a son and allowed him to use his name, according to the Daily Mail. James and Jeffrey Rackover each have apartments in the luxury apartment building where the homicide occurred, the Daily Mail said.

Comunale was a 2008 graduate of Westhill High School and a 2012 graduate of Hofstra University. He worked as a sales associate at Tri-Ed in Elmsford, N.Y.

Many heartbroken friends took to Facebook to remember Comunale.

"Joey Comunale was never one to have a bad day, I can't recall one time ever seeing him upset with anything or anyone," said one post. "Always great to be around, carrying an upbeat and positive demeanor. All and all Joey was just someone you always wanted to hang around with. To hear the news of his passing is simply devastating."

Another post said, "It's with a heavy heart we say good-bye to you, Joey Comunale. You were always smiling, eager to make those around do the same. You changed countless lives, your brothers, your family, your friends, in ways that will carry on. The world will mourn a beautiful soul & pray for justice as you rest in peace."

Click here to read the story at the CBS New York website. Click here to read the story at the Daily Mail. 

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