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Police Investigate Death of Man Found Tied Up in His Manhattan Apartment

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TWC News: Police Investigate Death of Man Found Tied Up in His Manhattan Apartment
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Police are investigating the death of a man found in his apartment Thursday who they say was tied up. NY1's Michael Herzenberg filed the following report.

Edwin Ortiz said his older brother has lived on a block in East Harlem for roughly a half century.

"My brother is a person who never, never, ever looked for trouble in the neighborhood," Ortiz said. "Everybody knew him."

Ortiz said his brother had no enemies.

"He was a good guy," said one resident in the neighborhood. "He was a really good guy."

"He's very quiet. He's very humble," said another resident. "He says hi like this to everyone."

Neighbors said the 59-year-old walked the block often and seemed to live simply. They're in disbelief that someone would kill him.

Police say his feet were tied up with phone cable and a towel was around his neck in his apartment.

"That's very sad to hear," said one resident. "He's very lovable."

"He walks up and down the block," said Steven Goldman, who owns the building next door. "He's very friendly with everyone, and that's what he does for the past 20 years. I see him every single morning."

Goldman said he was here Thursday morning when the body was discovered.

"He has a caretaker that comes every morning to watch after him, and when he wasn't outside, when he wasn't outside, she banged on the door and called the police, and then they saw the body in the window," Goldman said.

Another man said he was also friends with the victim and looked in the apartment.

"I just seen that everything was scattered all over the place. That's it," he said.

"Very strange, because it couldn't have been money because he has no money, and he has no enemies," Goldman said. "So it's a very bizarre case."

The youngest brother explained that his sibling had a chemical imbalance and was on medication for life. There is no indication that had anything to do with his death. The brother said he last saw him Wednesday.

"He was fine," Ortiz said. "He was right down the block, sitting on the front of his steps as always."

The block on 126th Street has roughly half a dozen walk-up apartment buildings. A Metropolitan Transportation Authority bus depot is across the street, and the depot has at least one exterior surveillance camera. There is no word if it captured any images that will help investigators.

Anyone with information on the case should contact the Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS, or text CRIMES and then enter TIP577, or visit www.nypdcrimestoppers.com.

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