Police have arrested a man for the strangling death of his lover, who was found in a motel room Feb. 6 in the Queens borough of New York City.
A shirt was wrapped around the neck of Joseph Benzinger, a 54-year-old sanitation worker, when his body was discovered in the Crown Motor Inn. Lleuyel Garcia, 23, of Manhattan was charged with murder and robbery early this morning in connection with Benzinger’s death, according to the New York Daily News.
A police source told the newspaper that the two men had a sexual relationship prior to the killing. Garcia was tracked down through the victim’s cell phone, which he had in his possession along with the deceased’s wallet.
Benzinger is one of three middle-aged men who’ve been killed in New York City in recent weeks. David Rangel, 53, was killed in his apartment on Jan. 26 and Charles Romo, 48, was founded beaten to death two days later. Both killings remain unsolved.
City officials have issued a warning to gay men in New York to use caution when hooking up with people they meet over the Internet.
"This is an important and emotional thing for me as an openly gay elected official," said New York City Councilman Daniel Dromm
at a press conference outside the Crown Motor Inn. "With all of these crimes against LGBT people, it gives us cause for concern."
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