Family members of a slain Brooklyn landlord are increasing the reward for anyone who can provide information about his death. NY1's Dean Meminger filed the following report.
Family members and friends of Menachem Stark say they don't know why he was snatched off a Brooklyn street and found dead hours later in a burning dumpster on Long Island, but they want answers and help.
"Children do not have a father. A wife does not have a husband. Why? What did he do?" said Rabbi David Niederman of the United Jewish Organizations of Williamsburg.
Video surveillance shows Stark leaving his Williamsburg business on Rutledge Street, then fighting with two men, who eventually drive away with him in a Dodge minivan. Police on Long Island found his body in a gas station dumpster.
"We're all are saddened and broken to pieces," said Abraham Buxbaum, Stark's brother-in-law. "We're trying to get our lives together and move on. Life will never be the same without Menachem. It just won't."
Stark owned several buildings. His brothers-in-law are outraged that it's been reported he was a slumlord and bad businessman.
"I hate the fact that I have to come here and defend a good man for people that love gossip and love to talk nonsense," said Moses Strulowitz, Stark's brother-in-law.
"There is no such a thing, a guy who had over 1,000 tenants that you're not going to have a few unsatisfied tenants. There is no such a thing," Strulowitz added. "This is business. You can't please 100 percent of the people 100 percent of the time."
Lawmakers from the area say they have been assured by police that the case is being pursued aggressively and warned the media not to assume otherwise.
"Of course, we don't have any facts to give you," said Asssemblyman Joe Lentol of Brooklyn. "They're trying to catch the perpetrators by surprise, not by press."
Through all of their pain and anger, family members and their supporters are urging anyone with information to come forward right away.
Stark's family said that their beliefs require them not to seek revenge, but they said that someone will pay.
"Good things happen from good people, and the worse things happen from the worse people. God will punish them no matter what," Strulowitz said.